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January 18, 2018

CNN Prime: Un gesto necesario

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
CNN Chile

>>CNN Prime: A necessary gesture

January 10, 2018

By Mónica Rincón

[Note: Includes video of the editorial.]

No es sólo el marista Abel Pérez hoy, Karadima o el cura Tato ayer. En los últimos 15 años 80 religiosos han sido acusados de delitos sexuales.

Cometidos desde la asimetría que implica siempre el pastor frente al fiel o incluso entre el adulto y el menor.

No es sólo el abuso de confianza cometido al amparo de una sotana sino la política sistemática de parte de la Iglesia Católica tanto en Chile como en el mundo que en el mejor de los casos fue de desidia y en el peor de ocultamiento.

El marista Pérez confesó su culpa y su congregación calló por años, las autoridades eclesiásticas no creyeron a las víctimas Karadima y mucho antes por ejemplo al obispo Cox lo trasladaron a Alemania.

Por eso la visita del Papa sería un excelente momento para que se reuniera con las víctimas y les pidiera perdón a nombre de la institución que encabeza y perdón por actos propios. Como haber llamado tontos a quienes en Osorno alegaban por el obispo Barros o por haber asistido al funeral del cardenal Law acusado de encubrir abusos en Boston.

Sería la señal más potente de un Nunca Más.

[Google Translation: It is not just the Marist Abel Pérez today, Karadima or priest Tato yesterday. In the last 15 years, 80 religious have been accused of sexual crimes.

Committed from the asymmetry that always implies the pastor in front of the faithful or even between the adult and the minor.

It is not only the abuse of trust committed under the cover of a cassock but the systematic policy on the part of the Catholic Church both in Chile and in the world that in the best of cases was negligence and in the worst concealment.

The Marist Perez confessed his guilt and his congregation was silent for years, the ecclesiastical authorities did not believe the Karadima victims and much earlier, for example, Bishop Cox was moved to Germany.

That is why the Pope's visit would be an excellent moment for him to meet with the victims and ask for their forgiveness on behalf of the institution he heads and forgiveness for his own acts. How to call fools those who in Osorno alleged by Bishop Barros or have attended the funeral of Cardinal Law accused of covering up abuses in Boston.

It would be the most powerful signal of a Never Again.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:20 PM

Papa Francisco defiende a Barros: "No hay una sola prueba en contra de él, sólo hay calumnias"

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Cooperativa

>>Pope Francis defends Barros: "There is not a single test against him, there are only slander"

January 18, 2018

- "El día que me traigan una prueba contra el obispo Barros, ahí hablaré", dijo el pontífice.

- El obispo de Osorno es sindicado como encubridor de los abusos sexuales del cura Fernando Karadima.

El papa Francisco defendió este jueves al cuestionado obispo Juan Barros, sindicado como encubridor de los abusos sexuales de Fernando Karadima, asegurando que no existen pruebas contra el líder de la Diócesis de Osorno

"El día que me traigan una prueba contra el obispo Barros, ahí voy a hablar. No hay una sola prueba en contra. Todo es calumnia, ¿está claro?", aseguró el pontífice en conversación con varios medios de comunicación.

Se trata de la primera vez durante su visita a Chile que Jorge Bergoglio comenta la situación de Barros, quien ha sido protagonista durante toda la estadía de Francisco en el país y participando en las misas masivas del Parque O'Higgins en Santiago, aeródromo Maquehue en Temuco y Playa Lobito en Iquique pese a las presión periodística y ciudadana.

[Google Translation:
- "The day they bring me a test against Bishop Barros, I'll talk there," said the pontiff.

- The Bishop of Osorno is accused of covering up the sexual abuse of priest Fernando Karadima.

Pope Francis defended Thursday the questioned Bishop Juan Barros , accused of covering up the sexual abuse of Fernando Karadima, assuring that there is no evidence against the leader of the Diocese of Osorno

"The day they bring me a test against Bishop Barros, I'll talk there, there is not one single proof against it, it's all slander, is that clear? " The pontiff said in conversation with several media outlets.

This is the first time during his visit to Chile that Jorge Bergoglio comments on the situation of Barros , who has been the protagonist during Francisco's stay in the country and participating in the massive Masses of Parque O'Higgins in Santiago , Maquehue airfield in Temuco and Lobito Beach in Iquique despite journalistic and citizen pressure.

There are even several priests who have publicly pointed out that the presence of Barros in the papal visit bothers them and even the "violent" , and admit that the controversy "opaque" the strength of Bergoglio's message.

Top Hard critics of Karadima whistleblowers

The statements of Pope Francis generated the immediate reaction of the complainants of the Karadima case.

Juan Carlos Cruz , through his Twitter account, criticized the Pope asking for evidence: " As if one could have taken a selfie or photo while Karadima abused me and others with Juan Barros standing next to him watching everything . "

"These people from above are crazy and the Pope talks about reparation to the victims, we remain the same and his forgiveness remains empty," he said, recalling the public request for forgiveness made by the Vatican head of state on Tuesday at the Palacio de la currency .


Juan Carlos Cruz Ch.
@jccruzchellew
As if one could have taken a selfie or photo while Karadima abused me and others with Juan Barros standing next to him watching everything. These people from above are crazy and @Pontifex_es talks about repairing victims. We remain the same and his forgiveness remains empty.
https://twitter.com/cnnchile/status/953989489755590657 …

9:08 - 18 ene. 2018 · Las Condes, Chile
487 487 respuestas 3.886 3.886 Retweets 2.923 2.923 me gusta
While José Andrés Murillo said that " this has already become personal ... Francisco, realize that our struggle is against abuse ... Benedict, we need you now."


José Andrés Murillo
@JosAndrsMurillo
This has already become personal ... Francisco, realize that our struggle is against abuse ... Benedict, we need you now.

9:31 - 18 ene. 2018
37 37 respuestas 217 217 Retweets 331 331 me gusta
In turn, James Hamilton used the social network to share an image of "the bishops and their leader": Karadima along with Horacio Valenzuela, Juan Barros, Andrés Arteaga and Tomislav Koljatic, the bishops he formed .

James Hamilton
@YverYactuar
The bishops and their leader

Earlier, upon arriving in Iquique, the bishop of Osorno said that the pontiff had expressed "words of encouragement, support and affection . "

Barros was also publicly defended by Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, who said that his situation "is an invented controversy and has no basis".

It should be remembered that there is a letter from 2015 - but only last week - where Francisco expressed concern about the Osorno issue and revealed a plan to give Barros and other questioned bishops a sabbatical.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:04 PM

La Iglesia oculta casos como el del Sodalicio a nivel mundial

LIMA (PERU)
La República

>>The Church hides cases such as the Sodalicio worldwide

January 18, 2018

By Martín Calderón

Testimonios. Un exsacerdote mexicano, un ciudadano alemán abusado por dos jesuitas y otros activistas denuncian el silencio de la Iglesia Católica en denuncias de pederastia.

“Me considero un sobreviviente de los abusos sexuales, no solo una víctima. Fuimos abusados un grupo de niños en la década del 70, y algunos se suicidaron o tuvieron problemas con el alcohol. Yo sobreviví”.

El relato es de Matthias Katsch, abusado sexualmente a los 13 años, según dijo, por dos jesuitas en un colegio católico en Berlín, Alemania.

Este ciudadano alemán se encuentra en el Perú junto a otras víctimas de abusos sexuales por parte de miembros de la Iglesia católica, y activistas por los derechos de los niños y adolescentes.

La historia de Katsh es parecida a la que vivieron las víctimas del Sodalicio en el Perú. Y parecida también a otros casos registrados en la lejana Irlanda o en el país vecino de Chile.

El caso del Sodalicio, explica la activista Anna Barret-Doyle, “es similar a lo que pasa en todo el globo, y la Iglesia lo sabe”.

[Google Translation: Testimonials . A former Mexican priest, a German citizen abused by two Jesuits and other activists denounce t"I consider myself a survivor of sexual abuse, not just a victim. We were abused a group of children in the 70s, and some committed suicide or had problems with alcohol. I survived".

The story is from Matthias Katsch, sexually abused at age 13, he said, by two Jesuits at a Catholic school in Berlin, Germany.

YOU CAN SEE The secrets of Sodalicio: What happened inside its walls?

This German citizen is in Peru with other victims of sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Church, and activists for the rights of children and adolescents.

The history of Katsh is similar to that of the victims of Sodalicio in Peru. And similar to other cases recorded in distant Ireland or in the neighboring country of Chile.

The Sodalicio case, explains activist Anna Barret-Doyle, "is similar to what happens around the globe, and the Church knows it."

Other activists agree, such as the former Mexican priest Alberto Athié, who left the priesthood when he found out that the Church is hiding cases of pedophilia, according to what he said yesterday during a conversation organized by the organization defending sexual rights Promsex and Lamula.pe in Lima.

"You have to confront the sayings with the facts. What does Pope Francis intend ? The protection of his image and of the Holy See. He has apologized to the victims, but that is not enough. It is not enough to forgive because before there is justice, "he said.

Church in crisis

For the ex-priest Athié, the Catholic Church faces a serious crisis of credibility worldwide due to its lack of transparency in cases of sexual abuse. "The Pope knows it perfectly," he said.

"There is an immensity of cases of sexual abuse in Latin America. The church sends to this region and to Africa persecuted priests in Europe and the United States for sexual crimes. Poor and marginalized children are abused and can hardly make the complaint, "he added.

For his part, the American lawyer and activist Tim Law warned that the pope's message does not agree with his actions.

"It says: 'No more secrets', but at the same time the Church does not make public the list of sexual aggressors," he said.

Finally, the former vice president of the Committee on the Rights of the Child of the UN , the Ecuadorian Sara Oviedo, clarified that the denunciations and questions against the Catholic Church are carried out because it "covers up its members accused of sexual abuse, instead of collaborating with Justice".

More testimonials

The author of the book "Sins of the Fathers", the Jamaican Denise Buchanan, participated in the discussion and told that she was a victim of sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Church.

He narrated that he still suffers the consequences of the tragedy he experienced.

"My social life is dramatic even today. I have achieved success in other aspects of life, but not emotionally. The person who spoke to me about God abused me and I got pregnant. That was devastating, "he said.

"I can not have children and I've divorced twice. And they ask me to turn the page! Buchanan added.

They sent a letter to the Nunciature to be received by the head of the Catholic Church in the world and talk about the injustice generated by the pardon that the former dictator Alberto Fujimori received.

"We are still waiting for an answer. There is nothing official so far, and the timetable for the visit of Pope Francis has already come out, "he said, in a dialogue with La República .

It is also not known if the Pope will meet with the victims of sexual, physical and psychological abuse of Sodalicio.he silence of the Catholic Church in allegations of pedophilia.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 12:53 PM

Papa Francisco: Plan de seguridad incluye la prohibición de marchas

LIMA (PERU)
La República

>>Pope Francisco: Security plan includes the prohibition of marches

January 18, 2018

Más de 2.600 policías y miembros de las Fuerzas Armadas estarán encargados de garantizar la seguridad del Sumo Pontífice y ciudadanos que asistan a la misa.

El plan para garantizar la seguridad del papa Francisco en su visita al país quedó listo e incluye labores de inteligencia para evitar posibles imprevistos, aseguró ayer el ministro del Interior, Vicente Romero.

“La seguridad está montada sobre un esquema de prevención y el cuidado del minuto a minuto de Su Santidad por todos los lugares donde se desplazará”, indicó.

[Google Translation: More than 2,600 policemen and members of the Armed Forces will be in charge of guaranteeing the security of the Supreme Pontiff and citizens who attend the mass .

The plan to ensure the safety of Pope Francis in his visit to the country was ready and includes intelligence work to avoid possible unforeseen events, said Interior Minister Vicente Romero yesterday .

"The security is mounted on a prevention scheme and the minute-by-minute care of His Holiness for all the places where he will move," he said.

In addition, the General Directorate of Interior Government reported that guarantees will not be granted for marches or mobilizations during the visit of Pope Francis to the country, from January 18 to 21.

For this last city, it has been planned to displace 2,600 policemenwho will have the support of the Armed Forces. "We need the population to trust all the entities of the State that are committed to security," Minister Romero said.

For Sunday 21, a total of 510 policemen, distributed in the 17 doors of entrance to the air base Las Palmas, will have the mission to check the faithful who attend the massive mass of Pope Francis .

"We ask the population to have patience and peace of mind that this will be done in the established times," said General EP Jorge Chavez, head of Indeci.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 12:09 PM

Víctimas de abusos en Perú piden al Papa que se haga justicia

BONN (GERMANY)
Deutsche Welle

>>Victims of abuse in Peru ask the Pope to do justice

[Note: Includes a brief video interview via Skype with Darío Menor Torres.]

Activistas y víctimas de países como México, Ecuador o Alemania pidieron que los clérigos denunciados sean remitidos "a la justicia común".

Activistas y víctimas de abusos sexuales afirmaron este miércoles (17.01.2018) en Lima que el papa Francisco debe "remitir a la justicia común, para que sean sancionados como corresponde", a los clérigos católicos denunciados por casos de este tipo.

"La Iglesia no puede ser responsable por personas que, en cualquier tipo de circunstancias, son unos abusadores", afirmó la ecuatoriana Sara Oviedo, exvicepresidenta del Comité de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas (ONU).

Oviedo participó en una exposición ante la prensa realizada por integrantes del grupo TAP o The Accountability Proyect (Proyecto de rendición de cuentas), un día antes del inicio de una visita oficial y apostólica del papa Francisco a Perú. En la presentación estuvieron el mexicano Alberto Athié, el británico Peter Saunders, el alemán Matthias Katsch y los norteamericanos Tim Law, Denisse Buchanan y Anne Barrett Doyle.

[Google Translation: Activists and victims of countries like Mexico, Ecuador or Germany asked that the denounced clerics be referred "to the common justice".

Activists and victims of sexual abuse affirmed this Wednesday (17.01.2018) in Lima that Pope Francis must "refer to the common justice, so that they are punished as appropriate", to the Catholic clerics denounced by cases of this type.

"The Church can not be responsible for people who, in any type of circumstances, are abusers," said Ecuadorian Sara Oviedo, former vice president of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UN).

Oviedo participated in an exhibition before the press made by members of the TAP group or The Accountability Project, a day before the beginning of an official and apostolic visit of Pope Francis to Peru. In the presentation were the Mexican Alberto Athié, the British Peter Saunders, the German Matthias Katsch and the North Americans Tim Law, Denisse Buchanan and Anne Barrett Doyle.

The ex-UN official said that the victims of abuse also ask to "separate from their positions clerics who are known, or suspect, to have committed some type of abuse." He also considered that the canon law should be modified so that these cases can no longer be considered "only as a moral violation" and that the church should find mechanisms to denounce these crimes, as well as address them in the formation of priests and education of children in reporting mechanisms.

Athié, a former priest who discovered one of the first cases of abuse perpetrated in Mexico by the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Marcial Maciel, said that the victims' denunciations "have met with a wall" in the Catholic Church. "You have to confront the sayings, the facts and the gestures," he said before emphasizing that "forgiveness is not enough, that is a very important value, but first there is the truth."

Matthias Katsch, co-founder of an association of victims of child abuse, said he participates in these activities "as a survivor", since he was abused in a Jesuit school. "We have the opportunity to show people that they have been victims in the past that we have opportunities today," he said before pointing out that the Catholic Church has a "responsibility" as a "global institution that trains children".

Cases like those of the Sodalicio organization

Barret Doyle added, meanwhile, that in Peru they have to deepen investigations of cases such as those of the Catholic organization Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, which came to light after the publication in 2015 of the book "Mitad monjes, mitad soldados", of the Peruvian journalists Pedro Salinas and Paola Ugaz. He considered that, in addition to the intervention of Sodalicio announced by the Pope last week, he could ask that the founder of that group, Luis Figari, who is currently staying in Rome, be extradited to Peru.

The activist remarked that the denunciations about the Legionaries of Christ, in Mexico; Karadima, in Chile, or Sodalicio, in Peru, "these are cases of victims with economic means". "We have not yet heard of cases of poor victims, and the poor are especially vulnerable," he concluded.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:56 AM

Cardinal Law, disgraced figure in church abuse scandal, dies

LOCKEFORD (CA)
Express Newsline

January 18, 2018

Cardinal Bernard Law, the Archbishop emeritus of Boston who resigned in 2002 amid a clergy sex abuse scandal, died Wednesday [December 20, 2017] at the age of 86.

"Spotlight" star Mark Ruffalo is not mourning the death of Cardinal Bernard Law, formerly the archbishop of Boston. "Where are we going to celebrate?" said Robert Casarlo, an abuse victim who spoke during a press conference in Boston Wednesday.

Law was once one of the most important figures in the US church, wielding considerable influence inside the Vatican.

Speaking to reporters, some survivors gathered to reflect on Law's death and the abuse they suffered by the priests he oversaw in Boston.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:46 AM

Armidale detectives investigating new report of alleged historical abuse by retired Armidale priest David Joseph Perrett

ARMIDALE (NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA)
Armidale Express

January 18, 2018

By Breanna Chillingworth

A court has been told detectives are investigating more alleged claims of historical sex abuse by a retired priest.

David Joseph Perrett returned to Armidale Local Court on Wednesday morning facing 62 charges, accused of molesting more than a dozen boys in the 1970s and 80s.

Magistrate Michael Holmes was told officers needed more time to investigate after another complainant contacted police, alleging abuse.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:41 AM

Priest Found Guilty of Violent Sex Acts with Children at Orthodox Christian Youth Camps

NEW YORK (NY)
Newsweek

January 17, 2018

By Cristina Maza

An Orthodox priest in Russia was sentenced to 14 years in a high-security penal colony for “especially cynical” violent sexual acts with minors.

The abuse took place at Orthodox youth camps in Russia and Greece between 2009 and 2013, according to local reports on Wednesday.

The priest, Gleb Grozovsky, fled to Israel after police opened a criminal investigation into the abuse in 2013, but he was extradited to Russia in 2016 to stand trial. The trial was held behind closed doors and lasted for seven months.

Grozovsky continues to maintain his innocence and says he will appeal the ruling. Defense lawyers say Grozovsky is a victim of religious and political persecution. A website in English, Russian, Arabic and Hebrew that claims to belong to Grozovsky’s sister says that the court limited the priest's ability to know what he was charged with, but the website has not been updated since last year.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:19 AM

January 17, 2018

Texto y video: Saludo del Papa a los jóvenes de Chile en el Santuario de Maipú

LIMA (PERU_
ACI Prensa / EWTN

>>Greeting of the Pope to the youth of Chile at the Shrine of Maipú

January 17, 2018

El Papa Francisco sostuvo un emotivo y alegre encuentro con los jóvenes en el Santuario Nacional de Maipú, a quienes alentó a preguntarse constantemente qué haría Cristo en su lugar.

A continuación el texto completo de las palabras del Santo Padre:

Yo también Ariel estoy gozoso de estar con ustedes. Gracias por tus palabras de bienvenida en nombre de todos los aquí presentes. Simplemente estoy agradecido por compartir este tiempo como ustedes, que según leí: ahí se bajaron del sofá y se pusieron los zapatos. Gracias. Considero, para mí, importante poder encontrarnos y caminar juntos un rato, ¡Que nos ayudemos a mirar hacia delante! y creo también para ustedes es importante!. Gracias.

Y me alegra que este encuentro se realice aquí en Maipú. En esta tierra donde con un abrazo de fraternidad se fundó la historia de Chile; en este Santuario que se levanta en el cruce de los caminos del Norte y del Sur, que une la nieve y el océano, y hace que el cielo y la tierra tengan un hogar. Hogar para Chile, hogar para ustedes queridos jóvenes, donde la Virgen del Carmen los espera, los recibe con el corazón abierto.

[Partial Google Translation: Pope Francis held an emotional and joyful encounter with the young people in the National Shrine of Maipú, whom he encouraged to constantly ask themselves what Christ would do in his place.

Here is the full text of the words of the Holy Father:

I, too, Ariel, I am glad to be with you. Thank you for your words of welcome on behalf of all present here. I am just grateful to share this time as you, as I read: there they got off the couch and put on their shoes. Thank you. I consider, for me, important to be able to meet and walk together for a while, that we help us to look forward! and I think it's important to you too! Thank you.

And I'm glad that this meeting takes place here in Maipú. In this land where the history of Chile was founded with a hug of fraternity; in this Shrine that rises at the junction of the North and South roads, that unites the snow and the ocean, and makes heaven and earth a home. Home for Chile, home for you dear young people, where the Virgin of Carmen awaits you, receives you with an open heart.

And as he accompanied the birth of this Nation and accompanied so many Chileans throughout these two hundred years, he wants to continue accompanying the dreams that God puts in your heart: dreams of freedom, dreams of joy, dreams of a better future.

You want, as you said Ariel, to 'be protagonists of change'. Be protagonists. The Virgin of Carmen accompanies them so that they are the protagonists of the Chile that their hearts dream of. And I know that the heart of young Chileans dreams, and dreams big, not only when they are a little 'curaditos', no. They always dream big, because of these lands have been born experiences that were expanding and multiplying throughout various countries of our continent.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:37 PM

La visita del papa a Perú vuelve a poner a la luz los casos de abuso en el Sodalicio

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times (en español)

>>The Pope's visit to Peru once again brings to light cases of abuse in the Sodalicio

16 de enero de 2018

Por Silvia Viñas

Londres - En las paredes de su cuarto en Colonia, Alemania, donde vivió los últimos años, no había un solo rastro que revelara que Álvaro Urbina era peruano. Nada recordaba al país donde había nacido y vivido hasta los 23 años, cuando decidió marcharse. “Dejé un poco atrás mi vida en el Perú”, dijo, una tarde del 2017, “y muchas veces me duele mucho recordar”.

Urbina se fue de Lima en 2004 y durante más de una década trató de evitar el pasado; pero un día del 2015, mientras revisaba Facebook, se topó con una noticia que lo obligó a recordar: el artículo decía que a Luis Fernando Figari y a Germán Doig —dos altos dirigentes del Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, una sociedad católica a la que él se había unido de adolescente— se les acusaba de abusar sexual, física y psicológicamente de menores de edad y adultos jóvenes.

El Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana fue fundado en Perú en 1971 por Luis Fernando Figari, uno de los primeros líderes de la organización acusados de abuso por exsodálites, cuyos testimonios dieron a conocer los periodistas Pedro Salinas y Paola Ugaz. Esta sociedad católica —formada por sacerdotes y laicos como Figari y aprobada por el papa Juan Pablo II— ha buscado establecer un grupo de religiosos devotos que viven en comunidad. Desde su fundación, el Sodalicio ha concentrado sus esfuerzos de evangelización entre la elite peruana, pero también tiene presencia en toda América Latina y en Estados Unidos. Algunos medios han reportado que la organización cuenta con más de 20.000 seguidores.

Después de ver aquella noticia, Álvaro Urbina siguió buscando y leyó en un blog que Jeffery Daniels, su antiguo guía espiritual en el Sodalicio, presuntamente había abusado de una cantidad indeterminada de adolescentes. No lo podía creer: “Yo estaba tan ciego que nunca supe que yo no había sido el único. Por eso siempre me quedé callado”, dijo esa tarde de abril en Colonia, donde vivía desde el 2012. Entonces decidió contar su historia: unos meses después, su testimonio salía publicado en la prensa peruana.

[Google Translation: On the walls of his room in Cologne, Germany, where he lived in recent years, there was not a single trace that revealed that Alvaro Urbina was Peruvian. Nothing remembered the country where he was born and lived until he was 23, when he decided to leave. "I left my life a little behind in Peru," he said, one afternoon in 2017, "and many times it hurts a lot to remember."

Urbina left Lima in 2004 and for more than a decade tried to avoid the past; but one day in 2015, while reviewing Facebook, he ran into a story that forced him to remember: the article said that Luis Fernando Figari and Germán Doig - two senior leaders of the Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, a Catholic society to which he had joined as a teenager - they were accused of abusing sexually, physically and psychologically minors and young adults.

The Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana was founded in Peru in 1971 by Luis Fernando Figari, one of the first leaders of the organization accused of abuse by exsodálites, whose testimonies were made known by journalists Pedro Salinas and Paola Ugaz. This Catholic society - formed by priests and laymen like Figari and approved by Pope John Paul II - has sought to establish a group of devout religious who live in community. Since its founding, Sodalicio has concentrated its evangelization efforts among the Peruvian elite, but it also has a presence throughout Latin America and the United States. Some media have reported that the organization has more than 20,000 followers .

After seeing that news, Álvaro Urbina continued to search and read in a blog that Jeffery Daniels, his former spiritual guide in Sodalicio, allegedly abused an undetermined number of teenagers. I could not believe it: "I was so blind that I never knew that I had not been the only one. That's why I always kept quiet, "he said that April afternoon in Cologne, where he had lived since 2012. He then decided to tell his story: a few months later, his testimony was published in the Peruvian press .

Urbina is 36 years old, with long dreadlocks and clear eyes. He is the only victim of Daniels who has given his name publicly to tell what he lived. "We could say that is my payment method for all this," he said.

When he decided to do so, it was still almost two years before the Public Ministry of Peru requested preventive detention for his former spiritual guide, Jeffery Daniels, and three other ex-leaders of Sodalicio, including Figari. The founder of Sodalicio and seven ex-leaders were denounced in May 2016 for the crimes of kidnapping, serious injuries and illicit association to commit a crime.

The story of Urbina is part of a special episode of Radio Ambulante on the victims of this organization that is broadcast today, one month after the request for preventive detention against ex-leaders of the Sodalicio and two days before the visit of Pope Francis to Peru, the first of a pontiff to the country in thirty years.

On Wednesday, January 10, a week after his arrival, the press office of the Vatican informed that Francisco had ordered the Sodalicio to intervene because of the concern generated by "all the information that, for several years, has been coming" about the organization.

'There was no way to escape for me'

Álvaro Urbina was 14 years old when he went to his first activity organized by Sodalicio. There he met Jeffery Daniels, who was twice his age. At that time, in the mid-nineties, Daniels was one of the laity who led groups of adolescents between 12 and 16 years. Organized activities, outings and trips. It addressed religious themes in a fun and accessible way for young people.

Daniels was known for his jovial attitude, for making jokes and being "chacotero", says Urbina. That irreverence was not what he expected from a religious leader: "It was lucky for him that we liked him very much," he says. Daniels was also affectionate and Urbina says that it made him feel that "you could trust him with your problems, any kind of problems". Bullying, sex, your parents. "He became your best friend."

That connection was something Urbina wanted. He did not fit in his private upper class school in Lima; he had bad grades, his classmates harassed him, and he was in danger of being suspended for indiscipline. His parents had recently separated and his father had left the country. In that group led by Daniels, Urbina felt safe. "They made me feel happy," she says, "they gave me a reason to smile, that was something that I lacked since my dad left."

One day, after one of his first outings with the group, Daniels left him home. He parked the car and began to talk to him about the trust: he told him that if he was able to trust him, he would lower his pants, says Urbina. Then he asked her to pull her underpants down. "And I did too," Urbina says now, and recalls that Daniels reviewed him as if he were doing a medical inspection.

After another exit the scene was repeated, but Urbina says that this time it had a sexual tone. For that lonely 14-year-old boy, what happened with Daniels felt like the beginning of a relationship. "I mean, he knew what he was giving me. Then, of course, from that point of view he had me completely tied psychologically, "he says.

At first Daniels visited him once or twice a week, even when Urbina stopped going to Sodalicio's activities. And during the nearly two years of their sexual encounters, Urbina says that Daniels never had to ask him to keep what they were doing secret. "It was not necessary," Urbina says, "talking to my mother or something like that would have been, to my best friend and the person I trusted the most, to throw it to the lions. There was no way to escape for me. "

Until suddenly, without warning, Daniels stopped visiting. After months without having news, Urbina called the house of Sodalicio where Daniels lived. The person who answered told him he had moved. Soon Urbina ran into him on a beach near Lima. Remember that Daniels "had a mad face upset," who spoke for a minute and told him he had to go. "That was the last time I talked to him."

Five years later, Urbina left Peru and would not know about Daniels until twelve years later, when he read the article with the accusations and decided to tell his story. "If I had known at that time, if I had noticed, if I had not been so blind. What do I know, so many 'if there were', "he told me that afternoon in Germany.

In February 2017, Sodalicio's website published a report that says Daniels "has been accused of sexual abuse of at least twelve young men", but according to witnesses, there are more victims who have not reported it. The document is the result of an investigation carried out by international experts commissioned by Alessandro Moroni, who is listed as Superior General of Sodalicio on the organization's website.

Urbina's experience is now part of an extensive list of testimonies detailing sexual, physical and psychological abuse by Sodalicio leaders. Many are registered in the book Half monks, half soldiers , written by the journalist and exsodálite Pedro Salinas and the journalist Paola Ugaz.

The book, published in 2015, is the result of five years of research. It gathers thirty testimonies pointing to Figari, retired since the end of 2010 and currently in Rome; Doig, who died in 2001, and Daniels, who according to recent reports in the Chicago Tribune , lives in the state of Illinois, in the United States. Ugaz tells that since they began their investigation, at the end of 2010, they have collected more than a hundred testimonies.

Within the Sodalicio the accusations were not new. According to the aforementioned report, a minor reported to Figari of sexual abuse in 1975, four years after Sodalicio was founded. In the following years there were more denunciations against Figari, Doig, Daniels and others. But the first articles on physical and psychological abuse did not come out until 2000, thanks to a series of columns written by the exsodálite José Enrique Escardó Steck for Gente magazine . As with the cases of the Chilean priest Fernando Karadima or the Mexican Marcial Maciel , it took decades to uncover these abuses.

In the case of Karadima, The New York Times revealed the first denunciations against him in 2010. The accusations dated back to the eighties. In February 2011, the Vatican declared the Chilean priest guilty of sexually abusing minors and ordered him to retire to a life of prayer. Five years earlier he had ordered the retirement of the Mexican Marcial Maciel, founder of the Order of the Legionaries of Christ and accused of abusing minors for decades. Maciel died in 2008.

In the case of Figari, the Vatican ordered him not to return to Peru - "except for very serious reasons" and with written permission - not to contact Sodalites and not to talk to the media. These indications are part of a letter of January 2017 addressed to Moroni, where they report on the result of an "apostolic visit" that sought to verify the accusations against the founder of Sodalicio.

In May 2016, Pedro Salinas and four ex-Sodalites sued Figari and other former leaders of the organization for crimes of kidnapping, serious injuries and conspiracy to commit a crime. The prosecutor in charge of the case questioned Figari in Rome. However, in January 2017 the prosecution filed the case alleging that there was not enough evidence and that the crimes had been prescribed.

But two months later another prosecutor reopened the case and on December 13 the Public Ministry requested nine months of preventive detention for Figari, Daniels and two other ex-leaders of Sodalicio: Virgilio Levaggi and Daniel Murguía.

The request for preventive detention was made public one month after Pope Francis visited Peru. Congressman Alberto de Belaunde, who led the creation of a special commission to investigate the Sodalicio, sent a letter to the representative of the pope in Peru requesting that the pontiff meet with the victims of the Sodalicio during his visit from January 18 to 21.

Until Monday, January 15, Belaunde's request had not received a response. But, eight days before Francisco's arrival, the Vatican announced the intervention of Sodalicio, what some have considered more a public relations maneuver than a real commitment to transform the organization.

Álvaro Urbina returned to Peru in August 2017, after thirteen years abroad. Now he works as a surf photographer on a beach north of Lima. "I went abroad to find answers," he says. "Now I'm here looking to settle my roots and help as much as possible." One of the first things he did back in Lima was to testify in the Office of the Prosecutor. "If I can help a child not to be touched by that beast, then more than happy to do so, more than happy."]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:18 PM

Confirman reunión reservada del Papa con víctimas de abusos sexuales por religiosos

CONCEPCIÓN, CHILE
BioBioChile

>>Confirmed meeting of the Pope reserved with victims of sexual abuse by religious

January 16, 2018

By Alberto González

El papa Francisco se reunió este martes con un grupo de víctimas de abusos sexuales por parte de sacerdotes, según informó el portavoz del romano pontífice.

“El Santo Padre se ha reunido hoy en la Nunciatura Apostólica de Santiago de Chile, después del almuerzo, con un pequeño grupo de víctimas de abusos sexuales por parte de sacerdotes”, reza un comunicado enviado por el Vaticano.

Las víctimas “han podido contar sus sufrimientos al Papa Francisco, que les ha escuchado y ha rezado y llorado con ellos”, agrega el comunicado.

La identidad de los participantes se revelará si estos quieren hacerlo público, agregaron las fuentes del Vaticano que convocaron una conferencia de prensa para dar a conocer esta información.

[Google Translation: The Pope Francis met Tuesday with a group of victims of sexual abuse by priests, according to the spokesman of the Roman pontiff.

"The Holy Father met today at the Apostolic Nunciature of Santiago de Chile, after lunch, with a small group of victims of sexual abuse by priests," reads a statement sent by the Vatican.

The victims "have been able to tell their sufferings to Pope Francis, who has listened to them and has prayed and cried with them," the statement added.

The identity of the participants will be revealed if they want to make it public, added the Vatican sources that convened a press conference to publicize this information.

On two occasions during his first day of official visit to Chile, the Pope spoke of the "shame" and "pain" he feels for the sexual abuse perpetrated by the clergy against minors.

"I can not help but express the pain and the shame I feel at the irreparable damage caused to children by ministers of the Church," the pope said before the country's authorities in La Moneda, prompting applause from the audience.

Later, in a meeting with religious in the cathedral of Santiago, Francisco urged them to have "the courage to ask for forgiveness".

"I know that sometimes they have suffered insults in the subway or walking down the street; that being dressed as a priest in many places is paying dearly, "said the Pope, visibly worried about this issue that not only tarnishes the image of the Church, but is producing a galloping distrust of the Chileans in the institution.

In Chile, nearly 80 religious abused minors since 2000, according to a list distributed last week by the American NGO Bishop Accountability.

"It does not serve forgiveness, shame and pain if it does not come with the corresponding actions", published Juan Andrés Murillo, anti-abuse activist and one of the complainants in 2010 of the emblematic case of Fernando Karadima, when several men reported having been abused in his youth by the powerful priest, condemned by the Vatican to "a life of prayer and penance".]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:10 PM

Víctimas de Karadima y reunión del papa Francisco: "No fuimos invitados"

CONCEPCIÓN, CHILE
BioBioChile

>>Victims of Karadima and meeting of Pope Francis: "We were not invited"

By Alberto González and Nicole Martinez

Las víctimas de Fernando Karadima revelaron que no fueron invitados a la reservada reunión que sostuvo el papa Francisco con víctimas de abusos sexuales por parte del clero de la iglesia Católica.

A través de una declaración conjunta, James Hamilton, Juan Andrés Murillo y Juan Carlos Cruz, se refirieron a la cita privada que sostuvo el obispo de Roma con un pequeño grupo de víctimas, según confirmó el vocero del Vaticano.

“Nos han contado que el Papa se juntó con víctimas de abusos sexuales del clero. Nos han preguntado si nosotros -James, José Andrés y Juan Carlos- estuvimos en esa reunión. No, no fuimos invitados”, indicaron.

[Google Translation: The victims of Fernando Karadima revealed that they were not invited to the reserved meeting held by Pope Francis with victims of sexual abuse by the clergy of the Catholic Church.

Through a joint statement, James Hamilton, Juan Andrés Murillo and Juan Carlos Cruz, referred to the private appointment held by the Bishop of Rome with a small group of victims, as confirmed by the Vatican spokesman.

"We have been told that the Pope met with victims of sexual abuse by the clergy. They asked us if we -James, José Andrés and Juan Carlos- were in that meeting. No, we were not invited, "they said.

However, they valued the meeting of the Roman Pontiff with the victims, although they warned that the important thing is for the Church to take action on the issue.

"We appreciate that those victims who met with the Pope had a direct word from the highest authority of the Catholic Church," they said.

Recall that as confirmed by the Vatican, the identities of the people who participated in the meeting will be kept in reserve by the Church, so it is unknown who participated in the meeting.

However, the victims of Karadima would not be the only ones to suffer abuses by religious in our country. According to a list distributed last week by the American NGO Bishop Accountability, nearly 80 religious abused minors since 2000.

"We hope that the words to those victims, are not all that is done. And concrete actions are taken that punish those responsible for all the victims and establish the justice that should and should have in each of the cases. This includes removing cover-up bishops and appointments that facilitate the escape of a victimizer from the action of justice, "they added.

"We are convinced that all the victims who went through this hell, hope that all concrete measures are taken so that these crimes against humanity never happen again," they concluded.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:59 PM

No basta solo pedir perdón

LIMA (PERU)
La República

>>It is not enough to just ask for forgiveness

January 17, 2018

By Augusto Álvarez Rodrich

La iglesia frente a sacerdotes y religiosos que son pedófilos.

Algo incorrecto ocurre en la iglesia católica cuando un pedido de perdón del papa Francisco por los graves casos de pedofilia de sacerdotes se vuelve noticia.

“No puedo dejar de manifestar el dolor y la vergüenza que siento ante el daño irreparable causado a niños por parte de ministros de la iglesia. Sé que es justo pedir perdón y apoyar a las víctimas, además estamos empeñados para que no se vuelva a repetir”, dijo ayer en Chile, donde la iglesia católica sufre un severo desprestigio por los abusos sexuales que han generado más de 80 denuncias.

Pero peor fue el blindaje a sacerdotes involucrados en pedofilia por parte del Vaticano expresado en que Francisco designó como obispo de Osorno a Juan Barros, alguien a quien las víctimas de los abusos señalan como muy cercano a ese monstruo eclesiástico de Fernando Karadima.

En el Perú tenemos un problema parecido: los abusos sexuales y psicológicos realizados en el Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, ante los cuales el arzobispado de Lima no actuó con la diligencia requerida, lo cual generó una demanda al cardenal Juan Luis Cipriani ante el Ministerio Público.

Sin embargo, estas denuncias fueron imposibles de negar cuando apareció Mitad monjes, mitad soldados, de Pedro Salinas y Paola Ugaz.

[Google Translation: The church in front of priests and religious who are pedophiles.

Something wrong happens in the Catholic Church when a request for forgiveness from Pope Francis for the serious cases of pedophilia of priests becomes news.

"I can not help but express the pain and shame I feel at the irreparable damage inflicted on children by church ministers. I know it is fair to ask for forgiveness and support the victims, and we are committed so that it does not happen again, "he said yesterday in Chile, where the Catholic Church suffers a severe loss of prestige for the sexual abuse that has generated more than 80 complaints.

But worse was the shielding of priests involved in pedophilia on the part of the Vatican, expressed in that Francisco designated as bishop of Osorno Juan Barros, someone whom the victims of the abuses point out as very close to that ecclesiastical monster of Fernando Karadima.

In Peru we have a similar problem: the sexual and psychological abuses carried out in the Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, before which the archbishopric of Lima did not act with the required diligence, which generated a demand to Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani before the Public Ministry.

However, these denunciations were impossible to deny when Mitad monks appeared, half soldiers, of Pedro Salinas and Paola Ugaz.

The judicial case has advanced but not enough. Although he did it a few days before Francisco's visit to Peru, the Vatican has done well to order Sodalicio's intervention.

What, however, remains unprecedented is the shielding of the Vatican to that defendant of pedophilia with very solid evidence that is the founder of Sodalicio Luis Fernando Figari.

Last year, the Vatican decided that Figari should remain in Italy and not return to Peru. The problem is that the Peruvian justice requires it to prosecute him for serious crimes.

For the Pope's requests for forgiveness to make real sense, the Vatican must contribute to putting priests and religious accused of rape in justice instead of covering them up.

Cover-up that includes the Peruvian political sector expressed in the outrageous support of Fuerza Popular to the rapists of the Sodalicio.

And that must reach all cases. From the Sodalicio linked to the right, to the left as those of the Héctor de Cárdenas school.

93% of Peruvians surveyed by Ipsos believe that Pope Francis should have a position of greater condemnation with priests and religious who have committed abuses against minors. I hope that Pope Francis will do much more in Peru than just ask for forgiveness.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:41 PM

Former Perth Catholic school teacher on historic child sex abuse charges

PERTH (WESTERN AUSTRALIA)
Perth Now

January 16, 2018

A former teacher at two Perth Catholic colleges is facing historic child sex abuse charges dating back as far as 1979.

The 71-year-old man has been charged with four counts of aggravated indecent assault, three counts of indecent dealing of a child and one of indecently assaulting a man.

The allegations stem from the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual offences.

The first offences allegedly occurred in 1979 when the man was a teacher at a Catholic school in Bedford.

Police allege the man indecently assaulted a boy three times, twice when he was 13 years old and once when the boy had turned 14.

It is also alleged that between 1986 and 1987, the man sexually assaulted a boy who was 13 years old at the time of the first offence.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:45 AM

Carolyn Bennett asks Catholic groups to allow residential school survivors to have documents outlining abuse made public

TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
Globe and Mail

January 15, 2018

By Gloria Galloway

The federal government is urging Catholic groups that ran Indian residential schools to allow former students who settled their abuse cases before a compensation deal was signed with school survivors to file their court documents with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

Justice Department lawyers say permission from both the government and the Catholic entities is required before abuse survivors who launched court cases before 2006, when the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) was struck, can house papers related to their cases at the centre in Winnipeg that is chronicling the schools' tragic legacy.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in December the government will waive the privilege it asserts over the records pertaining to the lawsuit launched by Angela Shisheesh for the hardships she endured at the infamous St. Anne's Residential School in Fort Albany, Ont., where former students say they were tortured in a makeshift electric chair and forced to eat their own vomit.

Carolyn Bennett, the Minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations, has written a letter that is being sent to the roughly 50 Catholic entities that ran the schools asking them to do the same for everyone in Ms. Shisheesh's situation – essentially requesting that the Church allow more documents detailing the abuse suffered by the students to be made public.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:42 AM

Leadership style, a comparison between Dr. King and Pope Francis

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

January 16, 2018

By Ken Briggs

Martin Luther King Jr.'s words left an indelible mark on our eyes and our ears. Nothing but the Gettysburg Address is so imprinted on the scroll of American history than the "I Have a Dream" speech, to cite only the most incandescent of his exhortations. That legacy also bolsters the case for Providence. If he had preached earlier or later in the century, his eloquence and charisma might have been limited by circumstance. One could argue that he appeared on stage at just the right time, now unimaginable at any other.

As it happened, Dr. King delivered his soaring message as television coverage was ramping up its McLuhan-esque "medium is message" magic of immensely powerful, enigmatic impact. Its scope ballooned to national and international dimensions. A decade or two earlier, he would have been limited principally to radio and movie theater film clips. His influence would surely have been felt, but his suddenly emergence as a major figure in the cultural and political realm would likely have needed much more time to ripen. And the time for such a prophet and activist was ripe right then.

* * *

Remembering Dr. King reminds me of Pope Francis' style of leadership. He is a compassionate prophet full of pleas for the poor, the victims of brutality, the visionaries of a kinder, gentler church and the welfare of suffering human kind in general. In that, he reflects a loving, self-less posture that sends a clear message no less profound than Dr. King's. So far, though, nearly five years into his papacy, he has not appeared at the barricades or directed the church to place its assets, its personnel or its ethical partisanship behind any social or political efforts to shift power away from the tyranny of wealth and oppression, except very indirectly.

Pope John Paul II (be careful what you wish for) gained stature by aiding the particular force, solidarity, to gain success over communism. He deputized then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to run followers of liberation theology out of town. Those kinds of actions probably contributed more than anything else to the "Great" designation tacked on to his memorial. By no means does that require Francis to follow similar strategies, but he might translate some of his wise words into actions that give form to them.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:37 AM

German diocese of Trier to pay €450,000 to church abuse victims

BONN (GERMANY)
Deutsche Welle

January 15, 2018

By David Martin

The Trier diocese has agreed to pay out almost half-a-million euro to abuse victims. The gesture comes eight years after the Catholic Church in Germany was rocked by reports of sexual abuse going back decades.

The Trier diocese — one of the oldest Roman Catholic parishes in Germany — announced on Monday it was paying €453,000 to 90 victims who suffered abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church.

Judith Rupp, a spokeswoman for the diocese, said the victims had received "material benefit in recognition of their suffering." Altogether, 135 alleged victims had initially applied for compensation.

Rupp also stressed that the money would not come from the church tax - a monthly fee paid by Germans who register themselves with the state as Roman Catholic - but solely by the diocese itself.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:31 AM

Abuse survivor confronts gymnastics doctor: ‘I have been coming for you for a long time’

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

January 17, 2018

By Kyle Swenson

Two school pictures floated side-by-side on a projection screen in the Michigan courtroom.

Both images caught the same small girl — in one, all gawky smile and bangs; the next, braces and long hair — a few years apart. Until this week, the child in the snapshots had been officially identified only as “Victim Z.A.” or “a family friend.”

But on Tuesday, Kyle Stephens, now a young woman, stepped out from the curtain of anonymity to directly address disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar before a judge in Lansing.

“I was the first to testify in this case, and worried of the attention that could come of that, I asked for complete anonymity,” Stephens explained, the pictures of her projected over her shoulder stemming from the time of her abuse. “I’m addressing you publicly today as a final step and statement to myself that I have nothing to be ashamed of.”

* * *

“I have been coming for you for a long time,” she told Nassar, who hid his eyes beneath his hand through the testimony. “I’ve told counselors your name in hopes they would report you. I’ve told your name to Child Protective Services twice. I gave a testament to get your medical license revoked. You were first arrested on my charges. And now as the only nonmedical victim to come forward, I testify to let the world know you are a repulsive liar.”

* * *

When she was 12 years old, thanks to news accounts of the Catholic Church priest abuse and a friend’s own story about molestation, Stephens realized what was happening. She told her parents about what Nassar had been doing to her. Her parents confronted their friend.

“Due to complex details that I won’t get into here, my parents choose to believe Larry Nassar over me,” she said. Convinced their daughter had made a false allegation against a friend, Stephens’s parents brought Nassar over to their home to speak to her. Nassar told her, “No one should ever do that, and if they do, you should tell someone,” Stephens told the court.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:25 AM

Pope Francis meets sex abuse victims in Chile

LONDON (ENGLAND)
BBC

January 17, 2018

Pope Francis has met a group of victims of sexual abuse by priests in Chile.

The meeting at the Vatican's mission in Santiago was "strictly private", his office said, providing no further details.

Earlier during his visit to Chile, the Pope felt "pain and shame" over the sex abuse scandal, asking the victims for forgiveness.

He has been criticised in Chile for a decision to ordain a bishop accused of covering up sexual abuse by a priest.

Francis also mentioned the issue when he said Mass for some 400,000 people in Santiago on Tuesday.

"I know the pain of these cases of child abuse and I am following how much is needed to overcome this serious and painful evil," he said.

He spoke of his sympathy with "victims and their families, who have seen their trust in ministers of the Church betrayed".

* * *

On Monday, activists fighting for the rights of sexual abuse victims gathered in Santiago for a conference.

They launched an organisation called Ending Clerical Abuse which "seeks to stop child sexual abuse by the clergy" worldwide.

One of the activists, Juan Carlos Cruz, told the BBC: "[Saying sorry] is not sufficient for a survivor. What we want is for the Pope to take action."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:22 AM

Pope Francis meets with sex abuse victims in Chile

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Catholic News Agency

January 16, 2018

Pope Francis met privately Tuesday with 6 victims of sexual abuse committed by priests in Chile, the papal spokesman has reported. The meeting had not been previously announced as a part of the Pope’s schedule.

"Today after lunch, the Holy Father met with a small group of victims of sexual abuse committed by priests, at the Apostolic Nunciature in Santiago. The meeting was strictly private, and there was no one else present: only the Pope and the victims. In this way, the were able to share their sufferings with Pope Francis, who listened to them, and prayed and cried with them," reported Greg Burke, director of the Vatican’s press office.

At a press conference from Santiago, Burke told reporters that the meeting lasted half an hour.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:18 AM

January 16, 2018

Pope meets with abuse survivors, weeps with them in Chile

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press

January 16, 2018

By Peter Prengerman and Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis met on Tuesday with survivors of priests who sexually abused them, wept with them and apologized for the “irreparable damage” they suffered, his spokesman said.

The pontiff also acknowledged the “pain” of priests who have been held collectively responsible for the crimes of a few, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told reporters at the end of the day.

Francis dove head-first into Chile’s sex abuse scandal on his first full day in Santiago that came amid unprecedented opposition to his visit: Three more churches were torched overnight, including one burned to the ground in the southern Araucania region where Francis celebrates Mass on Wednesday. Police used tear gas and water cannons to break up an anti-pope protest outside Francis’ big open-air Mass in the capital, Santiago.

Despite the incidents, huge numbers of Chileans turned out to see the pope, including an estimated 400,000 for his Mass, and he brought some inmates to tears with an emotional visit to a women’s prison.

But his meeting with abuse survivors and comments in his first speech of the day were what many Chileans, incensed by years of abuse scandal and cover-up, were waiting for.

Tens of thousands of jubilant Chileans turned out in droves for Pope Francis’ first public Mass, a huge gathering in the capital’s O’Higgins Park. Demonstrators marching against poverty clashed with riot police as they attempted to reach the celebration. (Jan. 16)

Burke said Francis met with a small group of abuse victims after lunch, listening to their stories and praying with them. The spokesman gave no details, other than to say the pope “listened to them, prayed with them and wept with them.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:03 PM

Pope meets victims of child sexual abuse in Chile, 'cries with them'

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Reuters

By Philip Pullella and Dave Sherwood

Pope Francis publicly expressed “pain and shame” on Tuesday over the rape and molestation of children by priests in Chile and later listened, prayed and cried at a private meeting with victims.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said the meeting took place in the Vatican embassy in Santiago.

“No one else was present. Only the pope and the victims,” the spokesman said. “This was so they could speak of their suffering to Pope Francis, who listened to them and prayed and cried with them.”

It was only the second time on his overseas trips that the pope has met victims of sexual abuse, although he has met some at the Vatican. The last meeting on a trip was in Philadelphia in 2015.

Burke declined to give details, but his statement came at the end of an intense day for the pope, during which he spoke of sexual abuse twice, once asking forgiveness for abuses he said had done “irreparable damage” to victims.

The Argentine pontiff made his first remarks at the presidential palace, La Moneda, an unusual choice because the pope usually talks about sexual abuse to Church leaders and not politicians.

But the scandal has gripped the nation, prompting many politicians to criticizes the Church in the staunchly Catholic country, where the crisis has scarred its credibility.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:49 PM

'Child Victims Act' would bring hidden predators to justice

POUGHKEEPSIE (NY)
Poughkeepsie Journal

January 16, 2018

By Kathryn Robb

When I first heard the claims of child sexual abuse against Alabama’s disgraced former Senate candidate Roy Moore, I was sick to my stomach. But as a long-time advocate and abuse survivor, I was not surprised that such a predator was able to remain hidden in plain sight for so long.

Despite the national conversation turning to rampant, and previously unreported, sexual abuse, New Yorkers still live in a state with laws that diminish victims and protect predators. In fact, New York is one of the worst states to be a victim of child sexual abuse, on par with Alabama.

New York has among the most restrictive statute of limitations for child sexual abuse crimes – barring most victims in Dutchess County and across the state from taking their abuser to court after they turn 23 years old. For most victims, it takes decades to report sexual abuse from their childhood, and the current statute of limitations means many who come forward are still denied their day in court.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:42 PM

Obispo encubridor de pederastas estuvo en misa del Papa

LIMA (PERU)
El Comercio

>>Bishop hiding pedophiles was at Mass of the Pope

January 16, 2018

Varios han mostrado su indignación al ver al obispo Juan Barros en la misa en donde el Sumo Pontífice manifestó "dolor" y "vergüenza" por el "daño irreparable" causado a los niños por sacerdotes pedófilos

El papa Francisco manifestó en su primera misa en Chile "dolor" y "vergüenza" por el "daño irreparable" causado a los niños por sacerdotes pedófilos. Pero gran parte del pueblo chileno está indignado.

Varios han mostrado su indignación al ver imágenes que circularon en las redes sociales en las que se observa al obispo Juan Barros, señalado como encubridor de un caso sobre pederastia, en la misa.

[Google Translation: Several have shown their outrage at seeing Bishop Juan Barros at the mass where the Supreme Pontiff expressed "pain" and "shame" for the "irreparable damage" caused to children by pedophile priests

The Pope Francis said in his first Mass in Chile "grief" and "embarrassed" by the "irreparable damage" caused to children by pedophile priests. But a large part of the Chilean people are outraged.

Several have shown their indignation when seeing images that circulated in the social networks in which Bishop Juan Barros is observed , indicated as a cover-up of a case on pedophilia, in the mass.

Barros co officiated the mass with Francisco, unleashing anger on Twitter. "The Pope asks for forgiveness, but Karadima's concealer is at the O'Higgins Park mass, while the victims did not want to receive them," says Víctor Pacheco in a tweet.

"If the Pope leaves Chile without the commitment to investigate the complicity of the leaders of the Church, distrust with the Church is going to worsen," says Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability in a statement.

Juan Barros took office amid controversy and protests for his closeness to priest Fernando Karadima. He has been consistently classified as the "concealer" of the condemned for sexual abuse of minors.

The Pope has arrived in the most critical country in Latin America with the Catholic Church and in full social change: he has just approved the therapeutic abortion and is filing homosexual marriage in the Parliament after the adoption of the civil union of same-sex couples and the one gender identity law.

The pontiff's agenda in Santiago also highlights a visit to a women's prison, a meeting with religious in the Cathedral of Santiago, which is expected to talk about sexual abuse, a private visit to the sanctuary of San Alberto Hurtado and a meeting with young people.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:34 PM

Anne Barrett-Doyle: "Cuando un obispo chileno pase un día en la cárcel, van a haber cambios en la iglesia chilena"

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
AméricaEconomía

>>Anne Barrett-Doyle: "When a Chilean bishop spends a day in jail, there will be changes in the Chilean church"

January 15, 2018

By Cristian Aránguiz

La experta estadounidense es una de las voces más autorizadas a nivel mundial en casos de abusos sexuales dentro de la iglesia católica. Ha apoyado importantes investigaciones, como las que se realizaron sobre el Arzobispado de Boston y que hicieron renunciar al poderoso cardenal Bernard Law, lo que años después daría origen a la premiada película “Spotlight”. Hoy, con la llegada a suelo chileno de la máxima autoridad de la Iglesia Católica, Barrett-Doyle le hace un llamado al Papa a dar respuestas a las víctimas de las violaciones y a reflexionar sobre las actitudes de las autoridades locales que protegen a los agresores.

Bishop Accountability es una ONG de origen estadounidense que recopila información global sobre miembros de la Iglesia Católica acusados de abuso sexual o violación de menores. En medio de la visita papal a Chile, la sede de la Fundación para la Confianza sirvió como comando central para que Anne Barrett-Doyle, líder de Bishop Accountability, entregara de manera pública los antecedentes que han recopilado sobre sacerdotes o miembros de la Iglesia Católica chilena acusados de realizar abusos sexuales o violaciones en contra de menores de edad.

La lista íntegra se encuentra, para su revisión, en el sitio https://www.bishop-accountability.org, donde se consignan 79 casos nacionales.

[Google Translation: "The Chilean government needs to carry out criminal investigations in the Catholic Church, to do that perhaps you start by creating laws that would enable them to persecute institutions like the Church or people within it," the expert said of what the Catholic Church should do. Chilean state to be able to sanction new abuses.

The American expert is one of the most authoritative voices in the world in cases of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. He has supported important investigations, such as those that were carried out on the Archbishopric of Boston and that made renounce the powerful Cardinal Bernard Law, which years later would give rise to the award-winning film "Spotlight". Today, with the arrival on Chilean soil of the highest authority of the Catholic Church, Barrett-Doyle calls on the Pope to give answers to the victims of the violations and to reflect on the attitudes of the local authorities that protect the aggressors.

Bishop Accountability is an American-born NGO that collects global information about members of the Catholic Church accused of sexual abuse or rape of minors. In the midst of the papal visit to Chile, the headquarters of the Foundation for Trust served as a central command for Anne Barrett-Doyle, leader of Bishop Accountability, to publicly release the background they have gathered about priests or members of the Catholic Church. Chilean women accused of carrying out sexual abuse or rape against minors.

The full list is available for review at https://www.bishop-accountability.org , where 79 national cases are recorded.

Q. What actions should be taken to avoid the concealment of sexual aggressors, either from civil society or within the clergy?

A. From the interior of the church there must be a law so that any bishop or anyone who knows of any abuse, must report them immediately and safely. But we believe that the real answer comes from outside the church, from secular organizations, from the prosecutors of justice who are the ones who should and can get involved to solve. When a Chilean bishop spends a day in jail, there will be changes in the Chilean church.

Q. Have the necessary measures been taken today, from the Vatican headquarters, to prevent sexual abuse by its officials?

A. I do not think so. Today the Vatican does not yet have a policy of zero tolerance for abuse. But not only that, but it promotes those people to better positions, like what is happening here in Chile.

Q. Pope Francis announced a policy of zero tolerance, has it been fulfilled?

A. Pope Francis has promised "zero tolerance" for the crimes of abusers or sexual harassers. He has said that the protection of minors is the highest priority for the Catholic Church, but here in Chile the bishops and higher authorities do not follow that promise.

Q. What policy, then, has the Chilean church maintained in cases of abuse?

A. A bit unclear and in some cases keeps priests accused of sexual abuse in practice. In fact, at least two of the priests who appear in our base convicted on civil charges have been reinstated to the ecclesiastical exercise. Chilean bishops are unusual because they openly violate the standards of care and protections established by Pope Francis.

Q. Then, Pope Francis arrives in a country where his measures have not been met?

A. Clearly, the Vatican institution has shown itself in favor of bishops like Juan Barros, and former Monsignor Errázuriz, who have been accomplices, in some way, with the Karadima case and would normally be careful to say so, but there are documents and testimonies that establish These men are not fit to hold positions within the Church. If the Pope really wants to apply "zero tolerance" measures, he has to start by disciplining Church leaders who have put children in danger.

Q. What analysis do you make about the Chilean government's actions on this matter?

A. The Chilean government needs to carry out criminal investigations in the Catholic Church. To do that perhaps should start to create laws that enable it to persecute institutions such as the Church or people within it.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:20 PM

Obispo Barros Tras Participar en Homilía del Papa: “Se Han Dicho Muchas Mentiras Respecto de lo Mío”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Nación

>>Bishop Barros After Participating in the Pope's Homily: "Many Lies Have Been Told about My Situation"

January 16, 2018

By Rodrigo Pérez Maldonado

Pese a las diversas protestas organizadas en su contra, el obispo de Osorno (acusado de encubrir los crímenes de Fernando Karadima) acompañó al sumo pontífice.

Sin duda la gran polémica de las últimas horas a nivel nacional ha sido la presencia del obispo Juan Barros en la homilía del Papa Francisco. Pese a las distintas protestas que se organizaron en su contra, el obispo de Osorno -acusado de encubrir los crímenes de Fernando Karadima- acompañó al sumo pontífice.

A su salida del Parque O’Higgins, recinto en que se llevó a cabo la multitudinaria misa, la autoridad eclesiástica fue abordada por medios de prensa y fue enfático en sus declaraciones. “Se han dicho muchas mentiras respecto de lo mío”, remarcó, agregando que “la verdad es muy importante y la verdad es lo que tiene que primar”.

De igual modo, expresó que se sintió “sorprendido” por la carta de 2015 -conocida la semana pasada- donde el papa sugería que tomara un período sabático.

Barros dijo además que “mucha gente reza por mí y me manda mucho cariño“. En tanto, consultado sobre la visita del sumo pontífice, indicó que “el papa es grandísimo y su visita es de un provecho enorme. El papa ha sido muy afectuoso conmigo”.

Luego de estas declaraciones, surgieron diversas reacciones. El periodista Juan Carlos Cruz, una de las víctimas de Karadima, escribió en su cuenta de Twitter: “El Papa pide perdón por abusos en La Moneda. Otro buen titular que saca aplauso y ahí se queda. Otro titular barato. Basta de perdones y más acciones. Los obispos encubridores ahí siguen. Palabras vacías. Dolor y vergüenza es lo que sienten las víctimas”.

Por su parte, Rolando Jiménez, vocero del Movilh, subió el siguiente mensaje: “Papa pide perdón por abusos y en Parque O´Higgins está el protector de Karadima nombrado Obispo por este mismo Papa. Coherente ¿no?”.

También Marta Larraechea, esposa del ex Presidente Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, criticó al pontífice en su cuenta de Twitter: “Barros participa de la ceremonia en Parque O’Higgins, qué vergüenza. ¿De qué pide ‘disculpas’ el Papa? No le creo nada, dice una cosa y hace otra”.

[Google Translation: Despite the various protests organized against him, the Bishop of Osorno (accused of covering up the crimes of Fernando Karadima) accompanied the Supreme Pontiff.

No doubt the great controversy of the last hours at the national level has been the presence of Bishop Juan Barros in the homily of Pope Francis. Despite the various protests organized against him, the Bishop of Osorno - accused of covering up the crimes of Fernando Karadima - accompanied the Supreme Pontiff.

On leaving the O'Higgins Park, where the mass was held, the ecclesiastical authority was approached by the press and emphatic in its statements. "Many lies have been said about my own," he said , adding that "the truth is very important and the truth is what has to prevail."

Similarly, he said he was "surprised" by the letter of 2015 - known last week - where the pope suggested he take a sabbatical.

Barros also said that "many people pray for me and send me a lot of love ." Meanwhile, consulted about the visit of the Supreme Pontiff, he indicated that "the Pope is great and his visit is of enormous benefit. The Pope has been very affectionate with me. "

After these statements, various reactions emerged. The journalist Juan Carlos Cruz, one of the victims of Karadima , wrote on his Twitter account: "The Pope apologizes for abuses in La Moneda. Another good owner who gets applause and stays there. Another cheap holder. Enough of forgiveness and more actions. The hiding bishops there follow. Empty words. Pain and shame is what the victims feel. "

For his part, Rolando Jiménez , Movilh spokesman, uploaded the following message: "Pope apologizes for abuses and in Park O'Higgins is the protector of Karadima appointed Bishop by this same Pope. Coherent, right? "

Also Marta Larraechea , wife of former President Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, criticized the pontiff on his Twitter account: "Barros participates in the ceremony at Parque O'Higgins, what a shame. What does the Pope "apologize" for? I do not believe anything, says one thing and does another. " ]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:07 PM

Berríos y Puga rechazan presencia de Juan Barros en misa papal

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
diarioUchile

>>Berrios and Puga reject the presence of Juan Barros in papal mass

January 16, 2018

By Paula Campos

Justo cuando la transmisión oficial captó la presencia del obispo Juan Barros en la misa del Parque O´Higgins, se iniciaron las críticas por la permanencia del sacerdote en su cargo y su presencia en la misa papal.

Antes de que el Papa Francisco arribara al país distintas voces cercanas a la iglesia católica insistieron en la necesidad de que Juan Barros, obispo de Osorno, abandonara su cargo para no ser una mancha en el viaje apostólico iniciado este lunes 15 de enero. Sin embargo, aquello no ocurrió.

Desde su nombramiento, en enero de 2015, el obispo de la Diócesis de Osorno se ha visto envuelto en polémicas, todas apuntando al presunto encubrimiento de abusos sexuales y su cercanía con Fernando Karadima, sacerdote condenado canónicamente por cometer estos delitos contra menores.

Exactos dos años después de su nombramiento y luego de innumerables acciones encabezadas por un grupo de laicos de la sureña ciudad, el sacerdote asistió a la misa masiva del Parque O´Higgins, haciendo uso de su derecho por ser obispo titular, compartiendo suelo con aquellos que públicamente han pedido su salida.

[Google Translation: Just when the official transmission captured the presence of Bishop Juan Barros at the O'Higgins Park mass, criticisms were initiated for the priest's continued presence and his presence at the papal mass.

Before Pope Francis arrived in the country, several voices close to the Catholic Church insisted on the need for Juan Barros, bishop of Osorno, to leave his post so as not to be a stain on the apostolic journey begun on Monday, January 15. However, that did not happen.

Since his appointment in January 2015, the bishop of the Diocese of Osorno has been embroiled in controversy, all pointing to the alleged cover-up of sexual abuse and his closeness to Fernando Karadima, a canonically condemned priest for committing these crimes against minors.

Exactly two years after his appointment and after innumerable actions led by a group of laity from the southern city, the priest attended the massive mass of the O'Higgins Park, making use of his right to be titular bishop, sharing soil with those who have publicly asked for his departure.

Immediately the first reactions were generated, which pointed to the impertinence of his presence in the esplanade of the capital meeting center; also his explanations: "Many lies have been said about my own," Barros said when he was dismissed from the mass, when he was approached by a group of journalists. The bishop accused of covering up Fernando Karadima added that "the truth is what is important. And the truth is what has to prevail. "

Mariano Puga, one of the "workers' priests" who is now a parish priest in Villa Francia, joined the protests of the parishioners, rejecting the permanence of Barros in his position. "Neither left-handers, nor fools" said the posters with which the laity responded to what Francisco I once pointed out to them when he ratified the questioned Juan Barros.

The Jesuit Felipe Berrios openly criticized the presence of the prelate in the Park: "He should have had dignity," he said adding that his presence leaves a wound in the apostolic journey. "Leave the Pope in a difficult situation. It is violent for many people who are there. It violates me because it contradicts everything he said in Papa in La Moneda, "he said, referring to the pardon that the Supreme Pontiff asked for all cases of pedophilia carried out by the Chilean church.

In conversation with the Semáforo program, Álvaro Ramis, a theologian and doctor in Philosophy, recalled the controversy generated after the letter that Francisco himself wrote in 2015 was published. In the letter, the Pope shared with the nuncio Ivo Scapolo his determination to remove Barros and two other bishops from their positions, to leave the Chilean Catholic Church in a better position in relation to its parishioners, a plan that was rendered ineffective. appear by action of the Holy One's envoy to Chile.

The presence of Barros in mass mass is already commented on internationally. Neighboring countries pick up the annoyance and surprise at the presence of the Bishop at the Mass, right after the speech offered by the Pope in La Moneda.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:00 PM

Barros, entre la renuncia y la rehabilitación

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>Barros, between renunciation and rehabilitation

January 16, 2018

By Juan Paulo Iglesias

La presencia del obispo de Osorno en los actos del Parque O’Higgins despertó dudas y polémicas. Para el biógrafo de Francisco lo que se vio fue la “rehabilitación del obispo Barros”.

“No será una visita simple”, dijo el secretario de Estado vaticano, Pietro Parolin, antes de embarcarse hacia Chile junto al Papa. Y los sucesos del segundo día de actividades lo dejaron claro, aunque fue otro tema el que concentró la atención de muchos vaticanistas que acompañan al Papa, más allá del pedido de perdón de Francisco por los abusos y el fuerte mensaje al clero que pronunció en la catedral: la situación del obispo de Osorno, Juan Barros.

La presencia del prelado en la misa que ofició el Pontífice sólo minutos después de su primer discurso en el Palacio de La Moneda fue el tema de varios medios especializados que cubren la visita y comentario obligado en la sala de prensa. Para el periodista Joshua McElwee, del National Catholic Reporter, la situación del prelado y la molestia contra Iglesia generó “una atmósfera en Santiago que no se había observado en ninguno de los otros 21 viajes” de Jorge Mario Bergoglio al extranjero en sus casi cinco años de Pontificado.

[Google Translation: The presence of the Bishop of Osorno in the acts of O'Higgins Park aroused doubts and controversy. For Francisco's biographer what was seen was the "rehabilitation of Bishop Barros."

"It will not be a simple visit," said the Vatican secretary of state, Pietro Parolin, before embarking to Chile with the Pope. And the events of the second day of activities made it clear, although it was another issue that focused the attention of many Vaticanists accompanying the Pope, beyond the request for forgiveness of Francisco for the abuses and the strong message to the clergy that he delivered in the Cathedral: the situation of the Bishop of Osorno, Juan Barros.

The presence of the prelate in the Mass that the Pontiff officiated just minutes after his first speech at the Palace of La Moneda was the subject of several specialized media that cover the visit and forced comment in the press room. For the journalist Joshua McElwee, of the National Catholic Reporter, the situation of the prelate and the annoyance against the Church generated "an atmosphere in Santiago that had not been observed in any of the other 21 trips" of Jorge Mario Bergoglio abroad in his almost five years of Pontificate.

The letter of the Pope revealed only days before his arrival in Santiago and where he expressed to the Chilean bishops his concern for the subject - and whose content has not been denied by the Holy See - only came to feed more the climate of tension that has surrounded the situation. For the Vaticanista of the newspaper La Stampa, Andrea Tornielli, and one of the veterans of the papal trips, the document of 2015 reveals that the Pope had another idea and was well aware of the problem. "But it is also clear that the Pope can not remove a bishop just because people say so," adds Tornielli, although "I believe that a man of faith would have to think about the good of his faithful and the diocese and that if he represents a matter of resistance, of division, I would have to recognize it and say I'm going for a year, two years, until the tension subsides. "

However, other Vaticanists differ from Tornielli and claim that it is Francisco himself who is determined to keep it. "I think the plan has been to show that Barros is a bishop like the others," says Pope biographer and founder of Catholic Voices, Austen Ivereigh, because according to him, "the Pope believes in his innocence." "It was important for the Pope that Barros was present at today's events and that he appear as one more bishop," adds the British journalist.

Ivereigh goes even further: "I think that this fact, together with the fact that Bishop Barros gave several interviews, makes him consider what happened as the rehabilitation of Monsignor Barros." In the same line of Ivereigh, other Vaticanists say that it is the Pontiff himself and not Barros who has shown a harder position for the prelate to continue in Osorno. For Tornielli, however, considering the consequences that the case has had and the situation in which the Chilean Church finds itself, "what would be needed would be a minimum of ecclesial awareness and knowing that none is indispensable (...). Humility would be the key to solving the case of Barros. "]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:44 PM

Lawsuit dismissed against late priest, former Notre Dame principal

WICHITA FALLS (TX)
Times-Record

January 15, 2018

By Claire Kowalick

A lawsuit was dismissed by District Judge David Evans in Tarrant County related to charges of sexual abuse by a now-deceased priest and a former principal of Notre Dame Middle/High School.

In March 2015, Jason Lloyd Montgomery filed the suit against the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth and Bishop Michael F. Olson, claiming he was sexually abused by the late Rev. John Sutton when he was a Notre Dame student in 1990-1992.

He later amended the suit adding a claim that the school’s principal at the time, Ron Staley, also sexually abused him.

The Fort Worth Diocese released a statement Wednesday saying they investigated the allegations and found no evidence to support the claims made in the lawsuit.

No other allegations of sexual misconduct have been made against Sutton or Staley

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:39 PM

Byrnes closes theological institute

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

January 16, 2018

By Haidee V. Eugenio

A theological institute that the Neocatechumenal Way used to operate has officially closed, a week after the movement's former seminary also closed.

Both facilities operated in the Archdiocese of Agana's property that used to be the Accion Hotel in Yona. The Yona property is one of 41 assets that the archdiocese said could be sold to help settle the now more than 150 Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed against the archdiocese.

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes signed a decree officially ceasing the operations of the Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores Catholic Theological Institute for Oceania, effective Jan. 9.

Byrnes said the decision came after a committee review of the institute's nature of inception and operation, the model for which is not sustainable for the archdiocese.

The archbishop said the decision was also in consultation with the Presbyteral Council, the College of Consultors, and the Archdiocesan Finance Council.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:35 PM

Pope Francis plans talks with Pinochet dictatorship victims during Chile visit

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Independent

January 11, 2018

Pope Francis is to meet with two victims of Chile's military dictatorship during his upcoming trip and is not ruling out a private encounter with victims of clerical sex abuse.

Spokesman Greg Burke made the comments while announcing details of the January 15-21 trip to Chile and Peru, Francis' 22nd foreign trip and the sixth to his home continent of South America.

The encounter with two victims of the 1973-1990 Pinochet regime will take place on January 18 in the northern city of Iquique.

Mr Burke was asked if Francis would meet with abuse victims and while he said no meeting was planned, "that doesn't mean it's impossible". He added that such meetings are best when conducted in private.

He said it was "clearly an important theme" in Chile, where the scandal has seriously hurt the Catholic Church's credibility.

Just this week, online database www.BishopAccountability.org said it had found 78 priests or members of religious orders credibly accused or convicted of abuse against minors.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:30 PM

The Latest: Pope meets with Chileans abused by priests

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via Washington Post

January 16, 2018

The latest on the pope’s visit to Chile (all times local):

9:10 p.m.

Pope Francis has met with a small group of Chilean victims of sex abuse by priests.

That is according to Vatican spokesman Greg Burke.

Burke told reporters that the meeting happened Tuesday at lunch. It was in the middle of the pope’s first full day in Chile, which included celebrating on outdoor Mass, meeting with the Chilean president and visiting a women’s prison.

Burke did not provide more details about the meeting victims.

Earlier in the day, Francis asked for forgiveness for the abuses committed against minors by priests.

Francis himself has been the center of controversy in Chile. In 2015, the pope appointed a bishop who had been close to the Rev. Fernando Karadima, the country’s most notorious pedophile priest.

___

5:40 p.m.

Pope Francis is telling Chile’s priests that sexual abuse of children not only has caused pain to the victims but also to the priests who have been held collectively responsible for the crimes of a few.

At a meeting Tuesday in Santiago’s cathedral, Francis urged priests and nuns to have the strength to ask for forgiveness for abuse and the “clear-sightedness to call reality by its name.”

Francis denounced the “weeds of evil” that had sprung up as a result of the scandal, and said he appreciated how the church was responding to it. He said the scandal was particularly painful “because of the harm and sufferings of the victims and their families, who saw the trust they had placed in the church’s ministers betrayed. Pain too for the suffering of ecclesial communities, and pain for you brothers and sisters, who after working so hard, have seen the harm that has led to suspicion and questioning; in some or many of you this has been a source of doubt, fear or lack of confidence.”

He said at times, some had even been insulted in the metro and that by wearing clerical attire they had “paid a heavy price.” But he urged them to press on.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:22 PM

Francis tells Chile's clergy to seek pardon for abuse and betrayed trust

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

January 16, 2018

By Joshua J. McElwee

Pope Francis has asked Chile's Catholic clergy to have the fortitude to ask forgiveness from those who were abused by priests, saying abuse survivors had their trust in the church betrayed and that clerics should seek to "call reality by its name."

But the pontiff also acknowledged the discomfort experienced by priests not caught up in the scandal, telling hundreds of clergy gathered for a meeting Jan. 16 at Santiago's Cathedral of the Assumption he knows they operate now in an atmosphere of suspicion.

"I know the pain resulting from cases of abuse and I am attentive to what you are doing to respond to this great and painful evil," Francis told the clergy, before listing several of types of pain caused by the abuse.

* * *

One of the organizers of the leading Catholic clergy sexual abuse tracking website called Francis' comments to the clergy Jan. 16 an indication that he does not understand the scope of the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

"These remarks reveal the pope’s own lack of clear-sightedness," said Anne Barrett Doyle, who helps run BishopAccountability.org. "The 'reality' that he should call by its name is the reality of collusion, apathy and cowardice among priests."

"The pope could have delivered a very different message," said Barrett Doyle. "He could have urged priests to face their own complicity in the secrecy that shrouds clergy sex abuse."

"This is another missed opportunity, another indication that Pope Francis still doesn’t get it," she said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:13 PM

In Chile, Pope Francis Apologizes for ‘Irreparable Damage’ Caused by Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

January 16, 2018

By Ernesto Londoño

Pope Francis said on Tuesday that he was “pained and ashamed” over the “irreparable damage” priests had inflicted on minors, as he offered Chileans an apology during his first visit to their country as pontiff.

“It is just to ask for forgiveness and to support victims with as much strength as possible, even as we take steps to ensure that this never happens again,” the pope said during an address in Santiago, Chile’s capital, attended by President Michelle Bachelet.

The remarks were the pope’s latest effort to contain the fallout from a series of sexual abuse scandals that have contributed to the decline of Catholicism in several regions, including Latin America.

But victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy in Chile said the pope’s words rang hollow.

“It’s not the time for apologies anymore, it’s the time for action,” said Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean who was abused by a priest when he was a 17-year-old seminarian. “Here in Chile there are bishops who have witnessed abuse and who have covered that up and who have abused as well and they are still in their position. The pope should remove them.”

* * *

Anne Barrett Doyle, the co-director of BishopAccountability.org, a group that tracks abuse cases in the church, said the pope’s remarks in Santiago were “strong but familiar.” Francis last year acknowledged that the church had been slow to respond to allegations of abuse and said that “pedophilia is a sickness.”

Ms. Doyle, whose group last week published a database of nearly 80 Chilean clergymen who have been accused of abuse, said she hoped the pope would commit to undertaking a sweeping investigation of past cases.

“If the pope leaves Chile without committing to investigate complicit church leaders, the public’s already deep distrust of the church will intensify,” Ms. Doyle said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:03 PM

Papa Francisco en Chile: dura crítica de la esposa del ex presidente Eduadro Frei a Bergoglio: "No le creo nada"

BUENOS AIRES (ARGENTINA)
Clarin

January 16, 2018

>>Pope Francis in Chile: harsh criticism of Bergoglio from former president Eduadro Frei's wife : "I do not believe anything"

La ex primera dama reaccionó así al pedido de perdón del pontífice por los abusos a menores. Fue al advertir que en la misa de hoy participó un obispo acusado de encubrir a un pedófilo.

Una de las voces más duras este martes contra el Papa Francisco y sus palabras de recogimiento por las denuncias de pedofilia fue la de la ex Primera Dama chilena, Marta Larraechea. La mujer es la esposa del ex mandatario Eduardo Frei uno de los líderes históricos del partido Demócrata Cristiano chileno.

En un implacable mensaje en la red Twitter se sumó a los cuestionamientos al sostener sobre el Papa “no le creo nada, dice una cosa y hace otra”.

Criticó enseguida al polémico clérigo Juan Barros, señalado por ocultar estos crímenes pero que de todos modos fue ascendido por Jorge Bergoglio al cargo de obispo de Osorno. El obispo estuvo este martes en la misa que ofreció el Papa. "Barros participa de la ceremonia en Parque O’Higggins, qué vergüenza, de qué pide ‘disculpas’ el Papa “, se preguntó la ex Primera Dama.

En la misma línea se pronunció el periodista Juan Carlos Cruz, víctima de los abusos sexuales cometidos por el cura Fernando Karadima, uno de cuyos aliados principales fue justamente el obispo Barros.

[Google Translation: The former first lady reacted thus to the pontiff's request for pardon for the abuse of minors. It was when he noticed that a bishop accused of covering up a pedophile had participated in the mass today.

Photo caption: The Bishop of Osorno, Juan Barros, during the Mass of Pope Francis, this Tuesday in Santiago.

One of the toughest voices against Pope Francis on Tuesday and his words of recollection for the denunciations of pedophilia was that of the former Chilean First Lady, Marta Larraechea. The wife is the wife of former president Eduardo Frei, one of the historic leaders of the Chilean Christian Democrat Party.

In an implacable message on the Twitter network, he joined the questioning of the Pope, "I do not believe anything, he says one thing and he does another."

He immediately criticized the controversial cleric Juan Barros, who was accused of hiding these crimes but was promoted by Jorge Bergoglio to the post of Bishop of Osorno anyway . The bishop was on Tuesday at the Mass offered by the Pope. "Barros participates in the ceremony at Parque O'Higggins, what a shame, what does the Pope" apologize for ", the former First Lady asked herself.

In the same line, the journalist Juan Carlos Cruz, victim of the sexual abuses committed by the priest Fernando Karadima, one of whose main allies was just Bishop Barros, was pronounced.

"The Pope apologizes for abuses in (his speech in) La Moneda. Another good headline that takes applause and stays there. Another cheap holder. Enough of forgiveness, more actions. The hiding bishops there follow. Empty words. Pain and shame is what the victims feel, "he said in his Twitter account.

Karadima is a priest accused of numerous crimes linked to pedophilia and illicit enrichment. He was not, however, prosecuted for justice because his crimes were prescribed. In addition, the Church as the only punishment ordered him to seclude and pray and prevented him from continuing to officiate mass. But, later, images appeared where the priest showed himself presiding over these ceremonies.

In an interview with the US network CNN of Chile, the journalist said, later, that in the Vatican "they are cowards, they say this for the headlines, but when we ask them to come together and tell them our story, nothing happens. He keeps the version of people like Ricardo Ezzati (metropolitan archbishop of Santiago) or Francisco Javier Errazuriz (cardinal, archbishop emeritus of Santiago) ".

"The only thing they have done is slapping us. When we accused of being abused by the monster, he took our hands," Cruz concluded, referring to Karadima and the curia.

Barros reacted by assuring that "many lies have been said" and that he has never witnessed abuse. Cruz returned there to the charge, in statements to Tele13 Radio: "Tell me in my face, he was present, and sorry if I'm raw, when Karadima touched my genitals, when he made me kiss him and did that with others. And Juan was standing there, when he also hugged and kissed with Karadima and we saw several, "he shot.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:44 PM

In Chile, pope met with protests, passion and skepticism

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via Washington Post

January 15, 2018

By Nicole Winfield and Eva Vergara

Pope Francis flew in to Chile’s capital Monday night for a visit expected to be met with protests over sexual abuse by priests and confronted by many Chileans deeply skeptical about the Roman Catholic Church.

It’s the pope’s first visit to the Andean nation of 17 million people since taking the reins of the church in 2013. It comes at a time when many Chileans are furious over Francis’ 2015 decision to appoint a bishop close to the Rev. Fernando Karadima, who the Vatican found guilty in 2011 of abusing dozens of minors over decades.

The Rev. Juan Barros, bishop of the southern city of Osorno, has always denied he knew what Karadima was doing when he was the priest’s protege, a position that many Chileans have a hard time believing.

“It’s not just time for the pope to ask for forgiveness for the abuses but also to take action,” said Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of Karadima.

Cruz added that if it wasn’t possible to jail bad bishops, “at the very least they can be removed from their positions.”

After deplaning, Francis was greeted by President Michelle Bachelet and a band played while the two walked on a red carpet as night began to fall. The pope traveled in a black sedan to the center of the city, flanked by several cars. He then transferred to a popemobile, waving to small crowds of well-wishers who lined up along avenues.

Crowds were notably thin, particularly compared to papal visits in other Latin American countries.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:38 PM

“The laypersons don’t have to parrot back whatever we say”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Stampa / Vatican Insider

January 16, 2018

By Andrea Tornielli

Francis meets the Episcopal Conference of Chile and denounces the risk of clericalism in the Chilean Church, “Let us be on guard, please, against this temptation, especially in seminaries”. As pastors “we are part of God’s people, not an élite”

In the last meeting of his first intense Chilean day (five appointments and five speeches), Pope Francis met briefly the bishops of the country in the cathedral of Santiago de Chile. A short meeting that becomes an opportunity to recall the hierarchies not to fall into clericalism and to consider themselves part of God’s people, without treating the laity as "peons" who must "parrot back whatever" bishops and priests say.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Pope greeted the world's oldest bishop, 102-year-old Bernardino Piñera Carvallo, who participated as a conciliar father in the four sessions of Vatican II.

Francis then stressed the importance of the fatherhood of the bishop with his presbyterate, "A fatherhood that neither paternalism nor authoritarianism, but a gift to be sought. Stay close to your priests, like Saint Joseph”.

He therefore called for the recovery of the conscience of "being a people", "One of the problems facing our societies today is the sense of being orphaned, the feeling of not belonging to anyone. This “postmodern” feeling can seep into us and into our clergy. We begin to think that we belong to no one; we forget that we are part of God’s holy and faithful people and that the Church is not, nor will it ever be, an élite of consecrated men and women, priests and bishops. Without this consciousness of being a people we will not be able to sustain our life, our vocation and our ministry”.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:32 PM

Laicos de Osorno y víctimas de Karadima se manifiestan en las cercanías de la Catedral

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Cooperativa

>>Lay of Osorno and victims of Karadima manifest in the vicinity of the Cathedral

January 16, 2018

- La agrupación osornina grita consignas contra el obispo Juan Barros.

- En tanto, víctimas del ex párroco protestan con globos negros.

Mientras el papa Francisco encabeza una liturgia para sacerdotes, religiosos, consagrados y seminaristas en la Catedral Metropolitana, algunas manifestaciones pacíficas se registran en sus inmediaciones.

En calle Compañía, un grupo de laicos de Osorno protesta en forma pacífica gritando consignas en contra del obispo de la ciudad, Juan Barros, sindicado como encubridor de los abusos cometidos por el sacerdote Fernando Karadima.

[Google Translation: The Osorno group shouts slogans against Bishop Juan Barros.

Meanwhile, victims of the former pastor protest with black balloons.

While Pope Francis leads a liturgy for priests, religious, consecrated and seminarians in the Metropolitan Cathedral , some peaceful demonstrations are recorded in its vicinity.

On Calle Compañía, a group of lay people from Osorno protest peacefully shouting slogans against the city's bishop, Juan Barros , accused of covering up abuses committed by priest Fernando Karadima .

While some of the victims of former pastor also were present in the vicinity of the capital temple demonstrating with black balloons, also rejecting the presence of Barros in papal activities.

One of Karadima's victims, journalist Juan Carlos Cruz , said he expects nothing from Pope Francisco.

"One always expects a greater gesture, but Pope Francis does not wait a long time because it is pure and nothing concrete, the time to ask for forgiveness and to talk about abuses and everything has happened a long time ago, now it is about taking concrete actions" he added.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:25 PM

Papa: Veo con preocupación comunidades que quieren mostrarse más que tocar la realidad

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Cooperativa

>>Pope: I see with concern communities that want to show themselves more than touching reality

January 16, 2018

El pontífice además volvió a referirse a los abusos contra menores.

"Sigo con atención cuanto hacen para superar ese grave y doloroso mal", aseguró.

Durante la liturgia realizada en la Catedral Metropolitana con sacerdotes, religiosos, consagrados y seminaristas, el papa Francisco reiteró su "dolor" por los casos de abusos sexuales cometidos por integrantes de la iglesia en contra de menores.

En el encuentro religioso, el pontífice deslizó una crítica a ciertas comunidades "que viven arrastradas más por la desesperación de estar en cartelera, por ocupar espacios, por aparecer y mostrarse, que por remangarse y salir a tocar la realidad sufrida de nuestro pueblo fiel".

Asimismo, consideró que la Iglesia Católica vive un momento de "turbulencias".

"Conozco el dolor que han significado los casos de abusos ocurridos a menores de edad y sigo con atención cuanto hacen para superar ese grave y doloroso mal. Dolor por el daño y sufrimiento de las víctimas y sus familias, que han visto traicionada la confianza que habían puesto en los ministros de la Iglesia", dijo en la liturgia.

[Google Translation: - The pontiff also referred again to the abuses against minors.

- "I follow closely what they do to overcome this serious and painful evil," he said.

During the liturgy held in the Metropolitan Cathedral with priests, religious, consecrated and seminarians, Pope Francis reiterated his "pain" for cases of sexual abuse committed by members of the church against children.

At the religious meeting, the pontiff slipped a critique of certain communities " that live dragged more by the desperation of being on the billboard, to occupy spaces, to appear and show, to roll up and go out to touch the suffering of our faithful people" .

He also considered that the Catholic Church is experiencing a moment of "turbulence".

"I know the pain that cases of abuses have caused to minors and I follow with attention how much they do to overcome this serious and painful evil, pain for the damage and suffering of the victims and their families, who have seen the trust that has been betrayed they had put on the ministers of the Church, "he said in the liturgy.

He also expressed his sorrow for the members of the Church who have suffered the consequences of the abuses committed by some religious.

"Pain for the suffering of ecclesial communities, and pain also for you, brothers, that in addition to the wear and tear of surrender have experienced the damage caused by suspicion and questioning, which in some or many may have introduced doubt, fear and distrust, "added Francisco.

"I know that sometimes they have suffered insults in the subway or walking down the street, that going 'dressed as a priest' in many places is 'paying dearly', which is why I invite you to ask God to give us the lucidity of calling the reality by its name, the courage to ask for forgiveness and the ability to learn to listen to what He is telling us, "stressed the leader of the Catholic Church.

The pontiff arrived at the place on board the popemobile after visiting the San Joaquin Women's Penitentiary Center , where he held a meeting with more than 400 inmates.

Later he will close the day with a visit, scheduled at 7:15 p.m., to the Shrine of Father Alberto Hurtado, where he will meet with members of the Society of Jesus in Chile, a congregation of which he is a part.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:05 PM

Pope Francis addresses authorities in Chile: Full text

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Vatican News

January 16, 2018

By Pope Francis

We bring you the full text [translated into English] of Pope Francis' address to Chile's government authorities, civil societies, and the diplomatic corps at the La Moneda Palace, while on his Apostolic Visit to Chile.

It is a joy for me to stand once again on Latin American soil and begin this visit to Chile, this land so close to my heart, which welcomed and schooled me in my younger years. I would like my time with you also to be a moment of gratitude for that welcome. I think of a stanza of your national anthem: “How pure, Chile, are your blue skies / How pure the breezes that sweep across you / And your countryside embroidered with flowers / Is the very image of Eden”. It is a true song of praise for this land, so full of promises and challenges, but especially of hope for the future.

* * *

The ability to listen proves most important in this nation, whose ethnic, cultural and historical diversity must be preserved from all partisan spirit or attempts at domination, and inspire instead our innate ability to replace narrow ideologies with a healthy concern for the common good (which without being communitarian will never be a good). It is necessary to listen: to listen to the unemployed, who cannot support the present, much less the future of their families. To listen to the native peoples, often forgotten, whose rights and culture need to be protected lest that part of this nation’s identity and richness be lost. To listen to the migrants who knock on the doors of this country in search of a better life, but also with the strength and the hope of helping to build a better future for all. To listen to young people and their desire for greater opportunities, especially in education, so that they can take active part in building the Chile they dream of, while at the same time shielding them from the scourge of drugs that rob the best part of their lives. To listen to the elderly with their much-needed wisdom and their particular needs. We cannot abandon them. To listen to children who look out on the world with eyes full of amazement and innocence, and expect from us concrete answers for a dignified future. Here I feel bound to express my pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the Church. I am one with my brother bishops, for it is right to ask for forgiveness and make every effort to support the victims, even as we commit ourselves to ensuring that such things do not happen again.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:34 PM

Why Pope Francis's trip to Chile poses a challenge

LONDON (ENGLAND)
BBC

January 16, 2018

By Eva Ontiveros

When the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that Pope Francis's trip to Chile would not be an easy one, it was no exaggeration.

In the pontiff's 22nd overseas visit, he will meet an unprecedented degree of hostility on his native continent.

When asked to evaluate Pope Francis on a scale of 0 to 10, Chileans gave him a score of 5.3, the lowest ranking for any Pope.

Trust in the Catholic Church as an institution fared even worse, polling at just 36% - the lowest in Latin America.

With such a low rating, it is not surprising that before boarding his plane from Rome, Pope Francis asked his congregation to pray for him.

Chile is a land of contrasts. It is estimated that more than 60% of the population identifies itself as Christian, and 45% belongs to the Catholic Church. But it is also the second most secular country in Latin America.

Some 38% of Chileans regard themselves as agnostic, atheist or non-religious.

So what are the three main challenges the Pope will face on his Chilean trip?

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:14 AM

Carta del Papa revela preocupaciones sobre obispo chileno

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via Houston Chronicle

January 11, 2018

Por Eva Vergara and Nicole Winfield

[Note: This is a Spanish translation of the original article. See also the letter.]

[Leer en español: Carta del Papa Francisco al Comité Permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile Sobre el Obispo Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid de Osorno]

El Vaticano estaba preocupado por los daños colaterales que provocaría el caso del mayor cura pederasta de Chile e intentó poner en marcha un plan: pedir la renuncia y darles un año sabático a tres obispos chilenos acusados de haber encubierto los abusos de ese sacerdote.

The Associated Press obtuvo una carta confidencial del papa Francisco, fechada el 31 de enero de 2015, la cual revela parte de un plan del Vaticano sobre cómo lidiar con los obispos chilenos señalados de proteger los crímenes del cura Fernando Karadima.

La carta también muestra las preocupaciones de los obispos por la designación que Francisco hizo de uno de esos tres obispos, Juan Barros, como responsable de la diócesis de Osorno, en el sur de Chile. El nombramiento provocó una importante división entre fieles y clérigos, e incluso llevó en su momento a cientos de católicos y curas a protestar contra el nuevo obispo de la zona.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:07 AM

Pope begs forgiveness for ‘irreparable’ harm from sex abuse

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via Washington Post

January 16, 2018

By Peter Prengaman and Nicole Winfield

[Note: This AP report is an updated and more detailed version of the report posted in Tracker earlier today.]

Pope Francis begged for forgiveness Tuesday for the “irreparable damage” done to children who were raped and molested by priests, opening his visit to Chile by diving head-first into a scandal that has greatly hurt the Catholic Church’s credibility here and cast a cloud over his visit.

Francis faced controversy on another front as well: Overnight three more Catholic churches were torched, including one burned to the ground in the southern Araucania region where Francis will visit on Wednesday to meet with Chile’s indigenous peoples. While not causing any injuries, the nine church firebombings in the past few days have marked an unprecedented level of protest against history’s first Latin American pope on his home turf.

In Santiago, though, an estimated 400,000 jubilant Chileans turned out in droves for his first public Mass, a massive gathering in the capital’s O’Higgins park where St. John Paul II celebrated Mass three decades ago. Before the service began, Francis took a long, looping ride in his popemobile through the grounds to greet well-wishers, some of whom had camped out overnight to secure a spot.

In his first event of the day, Francis met privately with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and addressed lawmakers, judges and other authorities at La Moneda palace. They interrupted him with applause when he said he felt “bound to express my pain and shame” that some of Chile’s pastors had sexually abused children in their care.

“I am one with my brother bishops, for it is right to ask forgiveness and make every effort to support the victims, even as we commit ourselves to ensuring that such things do not happen again,” he said.

Francis didn’t refer by name to Chile’s most notorious pedophile priest, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, who was sanctioned in 2011 by the Vatican to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for sexually molesting minors. Nor did he refer to the fact that the emeritus archbishop of Santiago, a top papal adviser, has acknowledged he knew of complaints against Karadima but didn’t remove him from ministry.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:57 AM

Pope Francis apologizes for clergy sex abuse in Chile: Response by Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director, BishopAccountability.org

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
BishopAccountability.org

January 16, 2018

The Pope's words in Santiago this morning were strong but familiar. This Pope has apologized similarly before, and so have his predecessors.

What's different is that the Pope opened his visit with this apology, rather than tucking it in later.

Expectations were high, and now they are higher. One hopes the Pope understands that an apology not followed by decisive action will deepen the crisis in Chile. The Chileans are weary of words, and they are savvy. They want Bishop Barros removed, and they see that as only a first step. Chilean bishops openly violate the Pope's promises of zero tolerance of abuse. They insult the intelligence of Chilean Catholics and they put children at risk. These other church leaders, like Cardinal Ezzati, must also be disciplined.

If the Pope leaves Chile without committing to investigate complicit church leaders, the public's distrust of the church will intensify. This is a crucial opportunity for Francis: with luck, he will not make the mistake of his brother bishops in underestimating the astuteness and moral outrage of the Chilean people.

Last week, BishopAccountability.org published a database of nearly 80 publicly accused clergy in Chile. While we believe these represent just a fraction of the actual total of accused Chilean clergy, the cases taken as a whole yield a striking portrait of the situation in the Chilean church. Compared to the U.S. and Australia, the Chilean church is distinctive in several respects:

a) Chilean church leaders openly reinstate priests who have been found guilty of abuse under canon or civil law, flouting the standard of zero tolerance established by the Pope. See the cases of Cristian Precht, Julio Dutilh Ros and Francisco Javier Cartes Aburto, C.M.F.

b) The database features a surprising number of superiors of religious orders, such as Pedro Mariano Labarca Araya, O. de M. (the Mercedarians ), Héctor Valdés, M.S.F.S. (the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales), and Eugenio Valenzuela, S.J. (the Jesuits, Pope Francis' own order).

c) The database largely comprises abuse that occurred after 2000, a result of the church's refusal to release information, Chile's victim-hostile criminal statute of limitations, and the weakness of its tort laws. There is almost no public record of abuse that happened in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

Click here to see BishopAccountability.org's database (in English and Spanish):

Publicly Accused Priests, Brothers, Sisters, and Deacons in Chile

Sacerdotes, hermanos, hermanas y diáconos que han sido denunciados públicamente en Chile

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:45 AM

Pope Francis begs forgiveness for Chile priest sex abuse

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via NBC

January 16, 2018

Pope Francis on Tuesday begged the forgiveness of Chileans for the "irreparable damage" done to children who were sexually abused by priests.

Francis opened his visit to Chile by referring directly to the abuse scandal in a speech to President Michelle Bachelet, lawmakers, justices and other Chilean authorities. The scandal has eroded the credibility of the Catholic Church in the country and cast a shadow over his visit, the first by a pope in three decades.

Francis said he felt "bound to express my pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the church." He said he joined his fellow bishops in asking forgiveness, supporting victims and ensuring abuse doesn't happen again.

Chile's Catholic Church had already begun losing relevance when in 2010 it was found to have covered up for a prominent and powerful priest who sexually abused minors in his posh Santiago parish over decades. The Vatican eventually sanctioned the priest, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, in 2011, but the church has yet to recover from the scandal.

Many Chileans are still furious over Francis' 2015 decision to appoint a bishop who had been the priest's protege. Bishop Juan Barros of the southern city of Osorno has always denied he knew what Karadima was doing, but many Chileans have a hard time believing that.

"Sex abuse is Pope Francis' weakest spot in terms of his credibility," Massimo Faggioli, a Vatican expert and theology professor at Villanova University in Philadelphia, said ahead of the visit. "It is surprising that the pope and his entourage don't understand that they need to be more forthcoming on this issue."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:10 AM

The Latest: Small crowds greet pope on first visit to Chile

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via WSB-TV

January 15, 2018

The latest on Pope Francis' visit to Latin America (all times local):

9:20 p.m.

Thousands of people have lined avenues in Chile's capital to get a glimpse of Pope Francis as he passes by in his popemobile.

But compared to papal visits to other Latin American countries, the crowds are very thin, in many areas a single line of people.

Francis' first visit to Chile as the head of the Roman Catholic Church comes at a time when many Chileans are skeptical of the church and even angry over one of the pope's decisions. In 2015, Francis appointed a bishop who had been close to the Rev. Fernando Karadima, who abused dozens of minors over decades.

Some people cheered "Long live the pope!" when he passed by.

Others carried signs criticizing the pope or extolling him to act. "Stop the abuse, Francis!" read one sign. "You can so you must!"

___

7:15 p.m.

Pope Francis has landed in Chile, where protests are expected over his decision to appoint a bishop who was close to the Andean nation's most notorious pedophile priest.

Francis' arrival Monday night marks his first visit to Chile since becoming pope in 2013.

After deplaning, he'll meet with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

Over the next three days, Francis is scheduled to celebrate Mass in Santiago, the southern city of Temuco and the northern city of Iquique. On Thursday, the pope will go to Peru.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:07 AM

The Pope, “Pain and shame for the irreparable damage caused to children”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Stampa / Vatican Insider

January 16, 2018

By Andrea Tornielli

In his first speech in Chile, Francis asked forgiveness for the violence committed by priests, “make every effort to support the victims, as we commit ourselves to ensuring that such things do not happen again”. And calls on the political authorities to listen to the poor and “native peoples whose rights and culture need to be protected”

In the country of Catholic Latin America, where the Church has lost much of its credibility in the face of public opinion and where protests are rife, Francis chooses to begin by asking forgiveness. In the face of the scandal caused by the case of Father Fernando Karadima, a charismatic and influential priest found guilty by the Holy See of child abuse in 2011, and other cases in Chile, Pope Bergoglio states that he feels “pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the Church”. According to BishopAccountability. org, about 80 Catholic priests have been accused of child abuse since 2000.

* * *

Taking the floor, Francis recalled that Chile “has distinguished itself in recent decades by the growth of a democracy that has enabled steady progress”. He noted that the recent general elections, which led to the appointment of the new President Sebastián Piñera Echenique, were a demonstration “of the solidity and civic maturity” that you have achieved, which takes on particular significance in this year marking the two-hundredth anniversary of the declaration of independence”. The Pope recalls, alluding to the dictatorship without naming it, that the Chilean people “had to face several turbulent times but managed to overcome them, not without pain”. Francis therefore recalled that peace and rights should never be taken for granted and that “Each new generation must take up the struggles and attainments of past generations, while setting its own sights even higher”. “Goodness - he explained - together with love, justice and solidarity, are not achieved once and for all; they have to be realized each day”.

Bergoglio invited not to forget that in Chile, despite his economic and social achievements, “many of our brothers still endure situations of injustice that none of us can ignore”. Here, then, is the challenge, “ to continue working to make this democracy, as your forebears dreamed, beyond its formal aspects, a true place of encounter for all” and where “everyone, without exception, feels called to join in building a house, a family and a nation”. A “generous and welcoming” Chile, with a people and political authorities capable of “listening”.

“This ability to listen - he continued - proves most important in this nation, whose ethnic, cultural and historical diversity must be preserved from all partisan spirit or attempts at domination, and inspire instead our innate ability to replace narrow ideologies with a healthy concern for the common good”. It is necessary, “to listen to the unemployed, who cannot support the present, much less the future of their families”. Listen “to the native peoples, often forgotten, whose rights and culture need to be protected lest that part of this nation’s identity and richness be lost”. We must listen to “the migrants who knock on the doors of this country in search of a better life, but also with the strength and the hope of helping to build a better future for all”. It is necessary “to listen to young people and their desire for greater opportunities, especially in education, so that they can take active part in building the Chile they dream of, while at the same time shielding them from the scourge of drugs that rob the best part of their lives.” And, “To listen to the elderly with their much-needed wisdom and their particular needs. We cannot abandon them”.

Francis then asked to “ To listen to children who look out on the world with eyes full of amazement and innocence, and expect from us concrete answers for a dignified future. “And here - he said - I feel bound to express my pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the Church. I am one with my brother bishops, for it is right to ask for forgiveness and make every effort to support the victims, even as we commit ourselves to ensuring that such things do not happen again”.

Finally, Bergoglio invites us – especially today – to give preferential attention to our common home: to foster a culture that can care for the earth, and thus is not content with merely responding to grave ecological and environmental problems as they arise. This calls for boldly adopting “a distinctive way of looking at things, a way of thinking, policies, an educational programme, a lifestyle and a spirituality which together generate resistance to the assault of the technocratic paradigm” that allows powerful economic interests to prevail over natural ecosystems and, as a result, the common good of our peoples.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:59 AM

Pope, in Chile, expresses 'pain and shame' over Church sex abuse scandal

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Reuters

January 16, 2018

By Philip Pullella and Dave Sherwood

[Note: See the Latinobarometro study mentioned in this article.]

Pope Francis expressed his “pain and shame” on Tuesday over a sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church in Chile, seeking forgiveness for a crisis that has scarred its credibility and left many faithful sceptical of reform.

“Here I feel bound to express my pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the Church,” he said in the presidential palace, drawing sustained applause from his listeners.

Francis was making his first official address of the trip in the presence of President Michelle Bachelet, other Chilean top officials, cardinals, bishops and foreign diplomats.

“I am one with my brother bishops, for it is right to ask for forgiveness and make every effort to support the victims, even as we commit ourselves to ensuring that such things do not happen again,” he said.

Catholics have been upset with Francis’ 2015 appointment of Bishop Juan Barros to head the small diocese of Osorno in south-central Chile. Barros has been accused of protecting his former mentor, Father Fernando Karadima, whom a Vatican investigation found guilty in 2011 of abusing teenage boys over many years. Karadima has denied the allegations and Barros said he was unaware of any wrongdoing.

But the scandal has gripped Chile, and, along with growing secularization, has hurt the standing of the Church that had been praised for defending human rights during the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:50 AM

Anger Over Clerical Sex Abuse Awaits Pope in Chile

NEW YORK (NY)
Wall Street Journal

January 16, 2018

By Ryan Dube and Francis X. Rocca

Osorno, Chile and Vatican City - Pope Francis’ visit this week renews protests from victims of influential Santiago priest.

Pope Francis ’ three-day visit to Chile will draw attention to what activists describe as one of the most conspicuous weaknesses of his nearly five-year-old pontificate: his failure to take enough action to protect children from clerical sex abuse and punish priests for perpetrating it.

When the Argentine pope arrives in Santiago Monday to begin his sixth visit to Latin America, he will set down in a traditionally Catholic country where revelations of clerical sex abuse have damaged the image of the church, and where the pope’s handling of the problem has drawn particular criticism.

“His record is a disaster,” said Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean sex-abuse victim and an organizer of protests planned for the pope’s visit. “People are absolutely disgusted with the way he’s handled abuse and how he’s treated us.”

* * *

After a Vatican inquiry concluded in 2011 that Fr. Karadima was guilty of abusing minors, he was ordered to a life of prayer and penitence.

Accusations of abuse were also lodged that year with civil authorities. A Chilean court declined to prosecute the case, citing a statute of limitations that put allegations dating back to 1980 outside the law’s reach.

Fernando Karadima being escorted from a Santiago court in 2015 after testifying in a case brought by three victims of sexual abuse.

Fr. Karadima is still living in the capital, according to a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Santiago. Attempts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful. In a 2015 court appearance in Santiago, he insisted on his innocence of all sex-abuse charges.

* * *

Mario Vargas, a spokesman for the Lay Organization in Osorno, which has led efforts to have Bishop Barros removed from the diocese, said the group plans to demonstrate during Pope Francis’ visit to Santiago. The group has asked for a meeting with the pope during his visit to the capital, as has a group of Fr. Karadima’s victims. The Vatican spokesman said Thursday no meeting with victims was scheduled but didn’t rule one out.

Joining protesters in Santiago will be a former member of the Vatican’s commission for the protection of minors, Peter Saunders, who resigned from the body last month after extensively criticizing Pope Francis, including for his appointment of Bishop Barros.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:28 AM

January 15, 2018

Statement Regarding Rev. Jonathan Shelley

ST. PAUL (MN)
Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Website

January 11, 2018

By Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda

Father Jonathan Shelley has been authorized to return to limited ministry, serving those who are in prisons and jails in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Father Shelley has been out of ministry since June 2012, after it was determined that there was pornography on his computer in the early 2000s. The computer evidence was investigated by law enforcement, the case was presented to a prosecutor’s office and a determination was made to not file criminal charges. Prior to Father Shelley’s return to ministry, the Archdiocese’s Ministerial Review Board (MRB) thoroughly reviewed and discussed his case. The MRB recommended to Judge Tim O’Malley, Director of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment, that Father Shelley be allowed to return to ministry in this limited capacity. Judge O’Malley agreed with that recommendation and I have concurred.

Father Shelley will be serving under the direction and guidance of a deacon who serves as the Coordinator of Corrections Ministry for the Archdiocese. In addition, as with any person ministering in a secure facility, Father Shelley’s activities will be subject to the security and oversight procedures of the Minnesota Department of Corrections and any county facilities visited.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:07 PM

Church credibility in focus as Pope heads for Latin America

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

January 14, 2018

By Philip Pullella

Pope Francis starts a trip to Chile and Peru on Monday, attempting to inject new confidence in the staunchly Catholic countries where the Church’s credibility has been severely damaged by sexual abuse scandals.

On his visit to Peru, the second leg of the Jan. 15-22 tour, Francis will also find a destabilizing political corruption crisis has reopened wounds from one of the country’s darkest periods of human rights abuses.

In Chile, where the Argentine pope arrives on Monday night, Catholics have planned daily protests against his 2015 appointment of Bishop Juan Barros to head the small diocese of Osorno, a small city south of the Chilean capital.

Barros has been accused of protecting his former mentor, Father Fernando Karadima, whom a Vatican investigation in 2011 found guilty of abusing teenage boys over many years. Karadima has denied the allegations and Barros said he was unaware of any wrongdoing.

The situation for the Church was complicated last week by the leak in Chile of a 2015 letter from the pope to local bishops showing that the Vatican had planned to ask Barros to take a one-year leave at the end of his previous post in 2014. That plan went awry and Barros was appointed to Osorno.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:59 PM

Card. Parolin: il 2018 di Francesco all’insegna di giovani e famiglia

VATICAN CITY
Vatican News [the Vatican's recently launched consolidated news service]

>>Cardinal Parolin: Francis's 2018 will be in the name of youth and family

January 11, 2018

By Alessandro Gisotti

Intervista al segretario di Stato vaticano sui temi forti del 2018 per il Papa e la Santa Sede
Alessandro Gisotti – Città del Vaticano

L’imminente viaggio apostolico in Cile e Peru, il Sinodo sui giovani, l’Incontro mondiale delle famiglie a Dublino e ancora Amoris Laetitia e la riforma della Curia Romana. Sono i temi forti dell’intervista rilasciata dal cardinale Pietro Parolin a Vatican News. Il segretario di Stato vaticano si sofferma innanzitutto sulle grandi aspettative che la Chiesa nutre nei confronti dei giovani, nell’anno che vedrà la celebrazione del Sinodo dedicato alla gioventù, il prossimo ottobre, preceduto da un pre-Sinodo a marzo:

* * *

E’ sempre l’incontro con le Chiese, è sempre l’incontro con la comunità cristiana. Il Papa va da pastore della Chiesa universale per incontrare delle Chiese locali; naturalmente, Chiese che sono particolarmente vivaci, particolarmente attive come la Chiesa in Cile, come la Chiesa in Perù e che d’altra parte, anche, si trovano ad affrontare numerose sfide di fronte alla realtà del mondo di oggi. Sono tante le sfide! Accenno a due, in particolare, che stanno molto a cuore al Papa. La prima è la sfida della popolazione indigena, degli indigeni: e qui faccio riferimento anche al Sinodo sull’Amazzonia che è stato convocato dal Papa recentemente e che si terrà nel 2019; quindi, qual è il ruolo, qual è il contributo di queste popolazioni all’interno dei singoli Paesi, delle loro società, e per dare un contributo anche a queste società. Poi, un tema che il Papa sente forte e sul quale è tornato con parole anche molto marcate, quello della corruzione, che impedisce lo sviluppo e che impedisce anche il superamento della povertà e della miseria. Credo che sarà un viaggio non semplice, ma sarà davvero un viaggio appassionante.

[Partial Google Translation: It is always the meeting with the Churches, it is always the meeting with the Christian community. The Pope goes as pastor of the universal Church to meet with local Churches; naturally, Churches that are particularly lively, particularly active as the Church in Chile, as the Church in Peru, and which, on the other hand, also face many challenges facing the reality of today's world. There are so many challenges! I refer to two, in particular, that are very dear to the Pope. The first is the challenge of the indigenous population, of the natives: and here I also refer to the Synod on the Amazon that was convened by the Pope recently and to be held in 2019 ; therefore, what is the role, what is the contribution of these populations within individual countries, their societies, and to make a contribution to these societies. Then, a theme that the Pope feels strong and on which he returned with words also very marked, that of corruption, which prevents development and which also prevents the overcoming of poverty and misery. I think it will not be a simple journey, but it will really be an exciting journey.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:51 AM

El Papa inicia un viaje que “no será simple”, según el Vaticano

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>The Pope begins a journey that "will not be simple", according to the Vatican

January 14, 2018

By Juan Paulo Iglesias

El secretario de Estado, Pietro Parolin, que acompañará al Pontífice durante su recorrido por Chile y Perú, reconoció que “no será un viaje simple”.

“Mañana (hoy) iré a Chile y Perú. Les pido que me acompañen con la oración en este viaje apostólico”, pidió el Papa Francisco al final de su tradicional saludo del Angelus, que pronuncia los domingos desde el Palacio Apostólico. En la Plaza San Pedro algunos aplausos, un par de banderas chilenas y peruanas, y un grupo de jóvenes con un extenso lienzo donde se podía leer buon viaggio recibieron las palabras del Pontífice, quien sólo un par de horas antes había celebrado una misa en la Basílica de San Pedro con ocasión de la jornada mundial de los migrantes y los refugiados. Bajo un cielo parcialmente nublado y apenas ocho grados -muy distinto a las temperaturas que recibirán al Papa en Chile-, el tradicional pedido de oración que hace el Pontífice cuando emprende alguna peregrinación fuera del Vaticano tenía esta vez una cercanía mayor y se leía, inevitablemente, a la luz de los últimos acontecimientos producidos en Chile, como el ataque incendiario a la Iglesia de San Agustín, de la comuna de Melipilla.

En una entrevista concedida al nuevo sitio de noticias del Vaticano, Vatican News, el secretario de Estado, Pietro Parolin, quien acompañará al Pontífice durante su recorrido por Chile y Perú, reconoció que la cuarta visita a Sudamérica de Francisco “no será un viaje simple”, aunque luego agregó: “Pero, definitivamente, será apasionante”.

[Google Translation: The Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, who will accompany the Pontiff during his tour of Chile and Peru, acknowledged that "it will not be a simple trip."

"Tomorrow (today) I will go to Chile and Peru. I ask you to accompany me with prayer on this apostolic trip, "Pope Francis asked at the end of his traditional Angelus greeting, which he pronounces on Sundays from the Apostolic Palace. In the Plaza San Pedro some applause, a couple of Chilean and Peruvian flags, and a group of young people with an extensive canvas where you could read Buon Viaggio received the words of the Pontiff, who only a couple of hours before had celebrated a mass in the St. Peter's Basilica on the occasion of the world day of migrants and refugees. Under a partly cloudy sky and barely eight degrees -very different from the temperatures that will receive the Pope in Chile-, the traditional prayer request that the Pontiff makes when he undertakes a pilgrimage outside the Vatican had this time a greater closeness and was read,

In an interview with the Vatican's new Vatican news website, Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, who will accompany the Pontiff during his visit to Chile and Peru, acknowledged that Francisco's fourth visit to South America "will not be a simple trip ", But then added:" But definitely, it will be exciting. "

"The Pope as pastor of the universal Church is going to find the local churches (...), particularly active churches, but they have to face many challenges," the cardinal said. Among these, Parolin highlighted two: the situation of indigenous populations - a topic that the Pope would address during his visit to Temuco - and the corruption that, he said, "prevents the development and overcoming of poverty and misery."

A few words that, added to the latest events in Chile and Peru, have been collected by various Vatican analysts, who highlight the complexity of the visit that the Pontiff will begin today, at 19.55, when the Boeing 777 of Alitalia that transports it lands in Pudahuel, after about 16 hours of flight.

For Andrea Tornielli, one of the journalists closest to the Pontiff and editor of the Vatican Insider site, Francisco's visit to Chile will be a complex journey. "The protests in Santiago, the resentment toward the Church by the cases of pedophilia and the Mapuche question make it difficult for the Pope to visit," he wrote in an article published last Saturday, where he warns about the effects that the recent revelation could have. of a letter in which the Pope recognizes before the Chilean episcopate the problems of the situation of the Bishop of Osorno, Juan Barros.

In addition, Tornielli assures that in order to reverse what he describes as "loss of credibility of the Chilean Church in public opinion", he must "know how to move outside the pre-established programs and the protocols of a trip that is pre-announced complicated." According to Tornielli, the trip undertaken by Francisco, "which was expected to be a peaceful return to his Latin America and countries he knows well", may be one of the most complex of his five years of pontificate.

Like Tornielli, the American religious site Crux, of the Vaticanist John Allen, also addressed the difficulties of the visit, especially the effects that pedophilia cases have had on both the Chilean and the Peruvian Church. For the journalist Inés San Martín, the complexity of the trip of the Pontiff is clear in the words of Cardinal Parolin: "It will not be a simple visit".

But apart from these concerns and as usual before each trip, Pope Francis visited on Saturday the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome to entrust his pilgrimage to the Virgin, and yesterday left the day at 10.00 with the Mass for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

A celebration that brought together about 10,000 people in the Basilica of San Pedro and in which the Pope made a strong call to welcome migrants, despite what he called "legitimate fears and doubts that their arrival generates in the populations local".

The Pontiff also stated in his message that "the collective and arbitrary expulsions of migrants and refugees are not a suitable solution, especially when they are carried out in countries that can not guarantee respect for dignity or fundamental rights."

The Mass brought together representatives of communities from 49 countries present in Rome, including the Chilean Marisol Silva, who has been in Italy for 17 years and was in charge of carrying the Chilean flag during the ceremony. "It was a great emotion," said the woman, who collaborates in the mission of Spanish-American immigrants in Rome.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:35 AM

Sudamérica, el terreno conocido del Papa Francisco

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>South America, the known terrain of Pope Francis

January 14, 2018

By Antonio Frieser R.

[Note: Includes useful map of visits by Pope Francis to Latin American countries.]

Por cuarta vez, el Pontífice llega al subcontinente, donde ha asumido un rol pacificador de los conflictos de una historia que conoce bien.

Hoy, cuando el Papa Francisco comience su recorrido por Chile, nuestro país se transformará en el sexto destino que el Pontífice visita en Sudamérica desde que asumió el mando de la Iglesia Católica, en marzo de 2013.

Voy “como peregrino de la alegría”, “conozco la historia de sus países, fraguada con tesón, entrega”, dijo Francisco en un mensaje de video emitido el pasado martes en Chile y Perú, países que forman parte de su nuevo viaje.

[Google Translation: For the fourth time, the Pontiff reaches the subcontinent, where he has assumed a pacifying role in the conflicts of a history he knows well.

Today, when Pope Francis begins his tour of Chile, our country will become the sixth destination that the Pontiff has visited in South America since he assumed command of the Catholic Church in March 2013.

I go "as a pilgrim of joy", "I know the history of their countries, set with determination, dedication," Francisco said in a video message broadcast last Tuesday in Chile and Peru, countries that are part of his new trip.

Less than two months after serving five years at the head of the Vatican and 81 years, the Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio has stamped a stamp of austerity and closeness to the poorest throughout his 21 trips outside Italy, where he has visited 31 countries on four different continents.

And from that long list, the first country visited by the Pontiff was Brazil, where there are the largest number of Catholics in the world. According to the Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae 2015, published by the Vatican, there are 1,285 million Catholics on the planet, of which 49% are in South America, and 172.2 million of them are Brazilian.

During his six-day visit, the Pope participated in the XXVIII edition of the World Youth Day that was held in Rio de Janeiro. And among his challenges was the challenge of revitalizing Catholicism and showing the stamp of his pontificate.

He also visited the Varguinha favela, where months before the Rio police had inaugurated a Pacifying Police Unit (UPP), to disrupt organized crime and drug trafficking in those sectors of the city.

On that occasion, Francisco said: "I appeal to all those who have more resources, public authorities and all people of good will committed to social justice: do not get tired of working for a more just and more supportive world." In addition, the Pontiff urged the Latin American bishops to "love poverty" and not behave as "princes", in what was interpreted as a clear allusion of the imprint he intended to impose on the Catholic Church.

In July 2015, Bergoglio returned to Latin America, this time responding to an invitation from the then presidents of Ecuador, Rafael Correa; Bolivia, Evo Morales; and Paraguay, Horacio Cartes.

At that time, the spokesman of the Vatican, Federico Lombardi, explained the election of those countries saying that it was considered "the variety and wealth of the different ethnic groups and populations of those countries: the indigenous groups, the mestizo reality and the local languages, like Quechua, Aymara, Guarani. "

True to his seal, "the Pope wanted to go to the least important and important countries. That was his first criterion, "concluded Lombardi.

With visits to Quito and Guayaquil, the Pope faced political tensions in favor and against the Correa government. In his meeting with the president, Francisco said in his speech that "the Ecuadorian people have stood up with dignity." Correa attributed the phrase to the changes that the country was experiencing and what he called "citizen revolution", but Francisco later clarified that the phrase had been instrumentalized and that he had referred to the border conflict between Ecuador and Peru and the ability of Ecuadorians to get up and take "more and more awareness of their dignity."

In Bolivia, the Pope's visit was marked by the maritime theme. Although in his first years of government he had pointed to the Catholic Church as part of his opponents, President Evo Morales greeted the Pontiff saying: "Welcome to a land that has been mutilated access to the sea through an invasion." Francisco responded by saying later: "I'm thinking about the sea. Dialogue. Dialogue is indispensable "to avoid conflicts with sister countries," referring to the dispute with Chile.

In Paraguay, Francisco called on young people to "make a mess and organize it well", in reference to an active participation in the country's social changes.

The Pontiff's last stop on his home continent was Colombia, where his message was aimed primarily at the reconciliation of the Colombian people in the framework of the 2016 peace agreement, which ended more than half a century of hostilities. "May this effort make us flee from any temptation to revenge and seek only particular and short-term interests." He added that we must "heal wounds and build bridges".]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:29 AM

A newly-begun journey, an already-written script, and the “unexpected”

VATICAN CITY
La Stampa / Vatican Insider

January 15, 2018

By Gianni Valente

The chaos of the Latin American scenarios alone is enough to make the framework - that reads Bergoglio’s international projections with the same formulas used in the reading of Karol Wojtyla’s pontificate - appear misleading. The icon of “Superstar Pope “ is now used by those who want to polarize attention on him, by separating him from the Church, to then rattle off his “failures”. It wouldn’t take much, however to get rid of this pre-established “script”.

On the eve of Pope Francis’ journey to Chile and Peru, tensions, discontents and even violent acts unleash on the umpteenth apostolic visit of the Bishop of Rome to his home continent. As the media is warming up its engines to present the Latin American trip as a kind of “gripping test” of Bergoglio’s pontificate.

Burning parishes in the name of alleged indigenous causes, and a beat-down Church after years of sexual abuse perpetrated by religious, priests, and high-profile exponents from the local clergy are awaiting the Pope in Chile. While in Peru, a Society of Apostolic Life of Peruvian origin, which in the past had enjoyed good ties within the Vatican, was just put under the administration of an external commissioner by the Holy See, following some serious accusations of sexual abuses involving their leadership.

Furthermore, Francis’ next landings in Chile and Peru have stirred up controversy in his own country of origin. On the Argentinean social media, there are those posting a flurry of resentful comments on the “traitor Pope”, who, almost five years after his pontifical election, has avoided returning to his homeland despite having visited almost all the great countries of South America. And while tens of thousands of compatriots travel to Santiago to see Bergoglio, the Argentine bishops implicitly confirm the excessive conflict surrounding their illustrious compatriot, by spreading a letter in which they remind that: “No one spoke or can speak on behalf of the Pope” and that” his contribution to the reality of our country must be found in his abundant teaching and his attitudes as pastor, not in tendentious and partial interpretations that only widen the division between Argentineans”.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:23 AM

El Papa Francisco aseguró que su visita a Chile “no será difícil”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>Pope Francisco assured that his visit to Chile "will not be difficult"

January 14, 2018

"Estudié aquí y tengo muchos amigos y conozco bien Chile", declaró el líder de la Iglesia Católica durante su vuelo rumbo al país.

El papa Francisco aseguró hoy que su visita a Chile “no será difícil” porque estudió allí, tiene muchos amigos y lo conoce bien, durante el vuelo hacia este país.

“Para mí no será un viaje difícil. Estudié aquí y tengo muchos amigos y conozco bien Chile”, comentó a los 70 representantes de los medios de comunicación, entre ellos EFE y el enviado especial de La Tercera, Juan Paulo Iglesias, que viajan con él.

[Google Translation: "I studied here and I have many friends and I know Chile well," declared the leader of the Catholic Church during his flight to the country.

Pope Francis said today that his visit to Chile "will not be difficult" because he studied there, has many friends and knows him well , during the flight to this country.

"For me it will not be a difficult trip. I studied here and I have many friends and I know Chile well , "he told the 70 representatives of the media, including EFE and the special envoy of La Tercera, Juan Paulo Iglesias , who travel with him.

On Peru he explained that he knew less because he had been alone three times "for agreements or meetings".

Francisco lived for one year, in 1960, in Chile in the novitiate of the Jesuits.

"We will have time to rest and work," he said, remembering that it is the longest direct flight, 15 hours and 40 minutes (12,123 kilometers) that the Alitalia airline has, as well as the longest he has done during his pontificate.

"I wish you a good trip. I have been told from Alitalia that it is the longest direct flight that Alitalia has, 15 hours and 40 minutes. We will have time to rest and work. Thank you for your hard work, three days in one country and three in another. "

At the beginning of the trip, the journalists were distributed a photograph and the Pope explained its meaning later.

"I found it by case, it's 45 and it's a boy with his little brother dead on his back waiting for his turn before the crematorium in Nagasaki after the bomb. It moved me when I saw it and I just wanted to write: the fruit of war and I thought about printing it, "he said.

"Because it moves more than a thousand words," he added.

Francisco then went on to greet the 70 journalists, photographers and cameras that accompany him on this Latin American journey.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:14 AM

AP Explains: Catholic Church in Chile weakened by scandal

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via WRAL

January 15, 2018

By Peter Prengaman

Leer en español: AP Explica - Cómo se debilitó la Iglesia en Chile

When Pope Francis arrives in Chile's capital Monday, he will find a weakened Roman Catholic Church. As in many Latin American countries, the church in Chile has been losing followers to both evangelical faiths and increasing secularism. The shift has been exacerbated by a priest sex abuse scandal, and many Chileans are put off by the church's influence in keeping tight restrictions in social matters like marriage and abortion. Here are some of the contributing factors to the Chilean church's problems.

Sex Abuse Scandals

Always well dressed, the Rev. Fernando Karadima seemed an ideal priest among the elite in Santiago. But he had a dark side, sexually abusing dozens of minors over decades while church superiors either looked the other way or covered up for him.

Allegations against Karadima went back to the 1980s, but the full weight of his actions didn't become widely known until victims went public in 2010. In 2011, the Vatican found him guilty of sexually abusing minors.

The statute of limitations had passed for him to be tried criminally, though, and Karadima's only punishment was being sent by the church to a convent to spend the rest of his life in prayer, angering many Chileans. He is there to this day.

[Also includes sections on:
- Pope's Controversial Appointment
- Bishops Then and Now
- Divorce
- Abortion]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:57 AM

Pope will highlight indigenous issues and the Amazon during his trip to South America

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

January 15, 2018

By Patrick J. McDonnell, Tracy Wilkinson, and Chris Kraul

Santiago - Pope Francis on Monday begins a weeklong visit to Chile and Peru that is expected to highlight the plight of the continent's indigenous peoples, the decimation of the Amazon rainforests and the struggles of immigrants and the poor.

The trip will mark the Argentine pope's fourth visit to South America, following his trip to Colombia in September.

A series of gasoline firebomb attacks on Roman Catholic churches in Chile before the pope's arrival has dramatized tensions in the church here, which has been riven by cases of clergy sexual abuse.

No one was injured in the attacks overnight Friday on three churches in the capital, and damage was minimal from the crude strikes with gasoline-filled bottles. But following the incidents, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet called on Chileans to receive the pope in a "climate of respect."

* * *

On Wednesday, the pontiff is slated to travel to the central city of Temuco to celebrate Mass and meet with Mapuche representatives. Several Mapuche leaders condemned the firebombings and rejected violence as a means of social change, a sentiment echoed by other Chilean officials.

"There is no place for violence in a democracy," said Claudio Orrego, regional governor of the Santiago area.

Also in Chile, victims of clergy sexual abuse have been pushing for a meeting with the pope during his visit here, though no such meeting had been formally scheduled.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:50 AM

Dangerous to believe worst of abuse behind us, says bishop

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

January 14, 2018

By Patsy McGarry

To relax would be ‘a profound error which would compound the historical failures’, conference hears.

A Catholic bishop has said that ignorance about the effects of child abuse in the past compounded its harmful effects on the lives of many young and vulnerable people.

“People of my generation began our adult lives with almost no awareness of the pervasiveness and impact of abuse in our society and in all societies,” Catholic Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy said.

“As a consequence, failure to recognise and respond appropriately to the complex issues which abuse presents, has at times compounded the profound and harmful impact on the lives of many young and vulnerable persons,” he said.

“In recent weeks, millions have joined the social media conversation using the hashtag #MeToo, or its equivalent, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram; women and men denouncing harmful sexual experiences. Many are revealing for the first time, via social media, their own stories. While the majority of those sharing #MeToo stories are adult women, a large number of the shared stories reveal sexual abuse that began when they were still minors,” he said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:41 AM

Clergy abuse database releases new names in Chile

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

January 10, 2018

By Joshua J. McElwee

The leading Catholic clergy sexual abuse tracking website has identified nearly 80 priests in Chile that have been publicly accused of sexually abusing minors, releasing their names online just days before Pope Francis is to visit the country.

BishopAccountability.org calls the list only a sampling of the number of Chilean priests who have likely committed abuse, saying that unlike in the U.S., the church in Chile has yet to face substantial outside investigation into its handling of sexual misconduct.

"This list — is a fraction of the total number of accused clerics who would be known if Chile's church leaders were required to report to law enforcement, if its legal system allowed victims more time to bring criminal and civil charges, or if dioceses and religious orders were investigated by prosecutors or state commissions," the group notes in a statement accompanying the database.

Francis is to visit Chile Jan. 15-18 as part of a two-country tour that includes a visit to neighboring Peru Jan. 18-22.

Local observers say attention during the Chilean visit may center on how the pope can help the country's church regain trustworthiness after a recent spate of cases of clergy sexual abuse.

But the pope himself has also been criticized for his record on the abuse issue, especially his 2015 appointment of Bishop Juan Barros Madrid of Osorno, Chile. Barros has been accused of protecting notorious abuser Fr. Fernando Karadima in the 1980s and '90s.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:25 AM

Pope's visit to Peru and Chile casts harsh light on handling of sexual abuse cases

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

January 12, 2018

By Dan Collyns in Lima and Piotr Kozak in Santiago

Criticism that Pope Francis is failing to tackle allegations of abuse, in the wake of scandals in both countries, is likely to overshadow his week-long visit

Pope Francis leaves Rome this weekend for a tour of Chile and Peru amid renewed accusations that he is failing to tackle allegations of clerical sexual abuse after scandals in both countries.

The visit comes as the pope seeks to shore up the Catholic church faith against the loss of followers in two of South America’s most conservative nations.

During the week-long visit, the pope will also travel to the Amazon city of Puerto Maldonado in Peru, where he will meet indigenous leaders and is expected to expand on the environmental message of his 2015 encyclical on climate change.

But the tour is likely to be overshadowed by the issue of sexual abuse within the church.

Earlier this week, the Vatican took over a Peru-based Catholic sect whose founder has been accused of sexual and psychological abuse. Meanwhile, in Chile – where the pope arrives on Monday – activists have promised protest every day of the visit over his 2015 appointment of a bishop accused of covering up for one of the country’s most notorious paedophiles.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:20 AM

Disgraced priest to give evidence at Scottish child abuse inquiry

EDINBURGH (SCOTLAND)
The Scotsman

January 15, 2018

By John Jeffay

A disgraced priest who sexually abused young boys in care is to give evidence at the Scottish child abuse inquiry.

Sex offender Bernard Traynor, 64, has been called to give his testimony after allegations about him were made to the inquiry by former residents at Smyllum Park in Lanark last month.

Two former residents told Lady Smith, who leads the inquiry, they were sexually abused by Traynor after they were moved to another orphanage run by the same Catholic order in Newcastle.

One witness said he was sexually abused by Traynor at a caravan park in Scarborough in the 1970s.

Another former Smyllum resident said Traynor had sexually abused him at the Wallis’s Holiday Camp in Cayton Bay, Scarborough.

He also said the abuse continued at the St Vincent’s children’s home in Newcastle, run by the Daughters of Charity of Vincent de Paul, for “two or three years” afterwards.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:11 AM

Pope seeks to turn tide of Chilean church bruised by scandal

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via Washington Post

January 15, 2018

By Nicole Winfield and Eva Vergara

Pope Francis’ visit to Chile was always going to be fraught, but it has taken on an unprecedented degree of opposition with the firebombings of Catholic churches ahead of his Monday arrival and protests by Chileans fed up with priest sex abuse and cover-up.

Francis is coming to a country where around 60 percent of Chileans declare themselves to be Roman Catholics, but where the church has lost the influence and moral authority it once enjoyed thanks to sex scandals, secularization and an out-of-touch clerical caste.

“I used to be a strong believer and churchgoer,” said Blanca Carvucho, a 57-year-old secretary in Santiago. “All the contradictions have pushed me away.”

The pope will try to reverse the trend during his three-day visit, which gets underway in earnest Tuesday with a series of protocol visits for church and state, and will be followed by a three-day trip to neighboring Peru.

In Chile, he plans sessions with migrants, members of Chile’s Mapuche indigenous group and victims of the 1973-1990 military dictatorship. It remains to be seen if he will meet with sex abuse survivors. A meeting isn’t on the agenda, but such encounters never are.

Chile’s church earned wide respect during the regime of Gen. Augusto Pinochet because it spoke out against the military’s human rights abuses, but it began a downward spiral in 2010 when victims of a charismatic, politically connected priest came forward with allegations that he had kissed and fondled them.

Local church leaders had ignored the complaints against the Rev. Fernando Karadima for years, but they were forced to open an official investigation after the victims went public and Chilean prosecutors started investigating. The Vatican in 2011 sentenced Karadima to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for his crimes, but the church leadership hasn’t won back Chileans’ trust for having covered up Karadima’s crimes for so long.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:06 AM

Priests clash over ‘sinister’ advice for meeting bishops

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

January 15, 2018

By Patsy McGarry

Kildare and Leighlin diocesan priests rebuke suggestion to ‘prepare for worst’ if called

Catholic priests in Kildare and Leighlin diocese have taken strong exception to “the sinister and false suggestion” from the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) “that a diocesan priest must always prepare for the worst if he is ever called to meet his bishop.”

In a letter to the ACP leadership team, Fr Gerard Breen, secretary to the Council of Priests in Kildare and Leighlin diocese, said the council “strongly disagreed” with contents of a card sent by the ACP advising what a priest should do if called to meet his bishop.

Fr Breen recalled how at a meeting of the Council “one of our priests commented that ‘the card has put a far greater distance between the diocesan priests and the ACP than it has between diocesan priests and their bishops.’All members of the council agreed with this statement,” he said.

He said it was proposed the council write a letter the the ACP “to express our disagreement with the card and the negative impression it advanced about the relationship between diocesan priests and their bishops.”

The card, issued by the ACP last year, is intended to help priests who may be summoned to meet a bishop, possibly in connection with abuse allegations. Designed to fit in a wallet, its seven pointers are in keeping with recommendations of the Catholic Church’s child protection watchdog, its National Board for Safeguarding Children, the ACP said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:01 AM

January 14, 2018

Anne Barrett-Doyle elaboró lista con 78 casos de abusos de la Iglesia en Chile

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Las Últimas Noticias

>>Anne Barrett-Doyle drew up a list of 78 cases of abuses by the Church in Chile

January 14, 2018

''La visita del Papa es una oportunidad para comenzar a limpiar la casa''

BishopAccountability es una organización estadounidense que se propuso registrar odas las denuncias contra sacerdotes católicos.

By Rodrigo Sepúlveda S.

Si vio la película "Spotlight" hasta el final, quizá recuerde que cuando la pantalla se fundia a negro aparecia una lista de 200 lugares donde se habfan producido denuncias de abusos sexuales por parte de sacerdotes católicos. "Nos aseguramos de incluir ciudades chilenas en esa lista (aparecen mencionadas Providencia, Maipu y Santiago)'', cuenta Anne Barrett Doyle, una de las personas que participó en la elaboración de la nómina y miembro de Bishop Accountability, organización surgida en Boston, EE.UU., en 2003, y que se propuso crear un archivo público permanente sobre la crisis de abusos sexuales que afecta a la Iglesia Católica en el mundo.

Barrett Doyle está de visita en Santiago, donde presentó un nuevo listado, esta vez solo sobre Chile. En él (http://www.bishop-accountability.org/Chile/Banco-de-Datos/) se contabilizan 78 casos de sacerdotes y diáconos, hermanos y hermanas que han sido denunciados por abusos sexuales en el país. " Nuestro equipo recopiló información de la cobertura de los medios de comunicación y los registros judiciales en línea. No incluimos denuncias basadas en rumores o informes privados. Además, restringimos la base de datos a clérigos católicos acusados de abusar sexualmente de menores. No incluimos casos de sacerdotes cuyas Únicas supuestas víctimas eran adultos en el momento del abuso", delalla Barrett·Doyle sobre el listado chileno.

[Partial Google Translation: If you watched the movie "Spotlight" to the end, you may remember that when the screen was blacked out there was a list of 200 places where there had been reports of sexual abuse by Catholic priests. "We made sure to include Chilean cities in that list (Providencia, Maipu and Santiago were mentioned)," says Anne Barrett Doyle, one of the people who participated in the preparation of the list of names and a member of Bishop Accountability, an organization that emerged in Boston, USA, in 2003. Its mission is to create a permanent public archive about the crisis of sexual abuse that affects the Catholic Church in the world.

Barrett Doyle is visiting Santiago, where she presented a new list, this time only on Chile. In it (http://www.bishop-accountability.org/Chile/Banco-de-Datos/) there are 78 cases of priests and deacons, brothers and sisters who have been denounced for sexual abuse in the country. "Our team compiled information on media coverage and online court records; we did not include reports based on rumors or private reports, and we restricted the database to Catholic clergymen accused of sexually abusing minors. We didn't include priests whose only alleged victims were adults at the time of the abuse," says Barrett Doyle.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:48 PM

Vocero de los Laicos y Obispo de Osorno: "La tolerancia cero del Papa es tolerancia infinita"

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
24 Horas

>>Spokesman for the Laity and Bishop of Osorno: "The Pope's zero tolerance is infinite tolerance"

January 12, 2018

Juan Carlos Claret apuntó al poder que tendría el círculo cercano de Fernando Karadima en la administración de Jorge Bergoglio y a las interrogantes que pone sobre la mesa la carta del Sumo Pontífice filtrada el pasado jueves.

Luego de conocerse una carta confidencial del Papa Francisco sobre un supuesto plan para pedirle la renuncia a Juan Barros y darle un año sabático antes de reacomodarlo en labores administrativas; el vocero de los Laicos de Osorno, Juan Carlos Claret, se manifestó sobre las dudas que genera la misiva y cuestionó el manejo del Sumo Pontífice ante los casos de abusos sexuales al interior de la Iglesia Católica.

El escrito - de Francisco I de enero de 2015- menciona una estrategia para alejar de sus funciones a los sacerdotes involucrados como supuestos encubridores de los casos de abuso sexual del ex párroco de la Capilla de El Bosque Fernando Karadima. Todo esto previo a la nominación de Barros como Obispo de Osorno.

[Google Translation: Juan Carlos Claret pointed to the power that would have the close circle of Fernando Karadima in the administration of Jorge Bergoglio and the questions put on the table the letter of the Supreme Pontiff filtered last Thursday.

After knowing a confidential letter from Pope Francisco about a supposed plan to ask for the resignation of Juan Barros and give him a sabbatical year before rearranging him in administrative tasks; the spokesman of the Laity of Osorno, Juan Carlos Claret, spoke about the doubts generated by the letter and questioned the Supreme Pontiff's handling of cases of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

The letter - by Francisco I of January 2015 - mentions a strategy to remove from its functions the priests involved as alleged cover-up of cases of sexual abuse of the former pastor of El Bosque Chapel, Fernando Karadima. All this prior to the nomination of Barros as Bishop of Osorno.

The letter raises doubts about the interventions after that date that the Supreme Pontiff had before the case, where even in a video he treated "lefties" and "fools" to those who asked for Barros' departure from office.

"In the video the Pope makes a serious mistake, because he says that the only accusation against Juan Barros was discredited, but there is no accusation as far as we know against the bishop." Karadima's victims ask for a warrant and the Supreme Court asks in May to the Vatican the background, but Rome in September 2016 says that he will not give the background, that is, he recognizes that there is something, but that he is simply not going to hand it over to the Chilean justice, "says Claret.

The representative of the Laity points to the power that would have the circle of Fernando Karadima in the current administration of Jorge Bergoglio, which had been diminished in the mandate of Joseph Ratzinger.

" The biggest question in this letter is that it demonstrates that the Pope's zero tolerance for abuses is not zero tolerance, but that it is infinite tolerance ." This is what is shown by a Pope who does not have all the conviction, having everything the power to do it, to be able to put an end to the abuses not only to the authors, but to the concealers, "the spokesman said.

"Mercy misunderstood leads to impunity," adds Juan Carlos Claret.

Claret also assured that they have no expectations that the Pope will receive them to talk, even after the document is revealed.

"From Osorno we have no expectation if for three years practically the Chilean Church has forced the Osorno church to beg and we have tried to reach the Pope in repeated ways and the Pope did not want to hear us knowing all the information and has decided to treat us fools, "he said.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:03 PM

Víctimas de Karadima lideran velatón en la Catedral de Santiago por miles de abusos sexuales

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
ADNradio

>>Victims of Karadima lead velatón in the Cathedral of Santiago for thousands of sexual abuse victims

January 14, 2018

[Note: Includes video of speech by Juan Carlos Cruz Chellew.]

Exigen la salida del obispo de Osorno, Juan Barros.

Más de veinte de personas del grupo de laicos de Osorno realizaron una velatón en el frontis de la Catedral de Santiago durante la madrugada, con el fin de exigir la salida del obispo de la ciudad Juan Barros, a quien se le sindica como encubridor de los abusos sexuales cometidos por Fernando Karadima.

La protesta se da sólo 48 horas antes antes del arribo del Papa Francisco a Chile, quien ha sido criticado por el nombramiento de Barros.

La manifestación estuvo liderada por Juan Carlos Cruz Chellew, José Andrés Murillo, Peter Sanders, Anne Barrett Doyle, Timothy y amigos de la Parole Libérée. Todos ellos, representando a más de 10 mil víctimas de abusos por parte del clero al rededor del mundo.

[Google Translation: They demand the departure of the Bishop of Osorno, Juan Barros.

More than twenty people from the group of laity from Osorno made a velatón at the front of the Cathedral of Santiago during the early hours of the morning, in order to demand the departure of the bishop of the city Juan Barros , who is accused of hiding the sexual abuse committed by Fernando Karadima.

The protest occurs only 48 hours before the arrival of Pope Francis in Chile, who has been criticized for the appointment of Barros.

The demonstration was led by Juan Carlos Cruz Chellew, Jose Andres Murillo, Peter Sanders, Anne Barrett Doyle, Timothy and friends of Parole Libérée. All of them, representing more than 10 thousand victims of abuses by clergy around the world

The morning of this Sunday also, dozens of Santiaguinos joined the lay people of Osorno in the demonstrations against Barros, Karadima and Ricardo Ezzati.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:46 PM

Ciudadanos realizan velatón en las afueras de Catedral de Santiago exigiendo salida de obispo Barros

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
24 Horas

>>Citizens perform a velatón outside Santiago Cathedral demanding the departure of Bishop Barros

January 14, 2018

La manifestación se produjo a menos de 48 horas de la llegada del Papa Francisco a nuestro país.

Un grupo de ciudadanos realizó una velatón en las afueras de la Catedral de Santiago la tarde y noche de este sábado, exigiendo la salida del obispo Juan Barros de su cargo.

Los manifestantes -entre los que se incluían Juan Carlos Cruz y José Andrés Murillo- argumentan que el sacerdote habría encubierto al ex párroco de El Bosque, Fernando Karadima, y a los abusos sexuales que cometía.

[Google Translation: The demonstration took place less than 48 hours before Pope Francis arrived in our country.

A group of citizens held a vigil outside the Cathedral of Santiago on Saturday afternoon and evening, demanding the departure of Bishop Juan Barros from his post.

The protesters - among which included Juan Carlos Cruz and José Andrés Murillo - argue that the priest had covered up the former pastor of El Bosque, Fernando Karadima, and the sexual abuse he committed.

This velatón is not the only activity of citizens questioning the role of Juan Barros. The Lay and Lay Organization of Osorno announced that it will be in the activities of Pope Francis in Santiago and that it will be manifested so that the Supreme Pontiff can make a determination about the problem.

Other citizens who circulated in the sector spontaneously joined the initial group of about twenty people, reports Radio ADN. This Sunday there was a new meeting in the vicinity of the cathedral.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:33 PM

Laicos de Osorno pidieron la salida del obispo Barros con una velatón en Santiago

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Nacion

>>Group of Lay People from Osorno Announce Protests during the Pope's Visit

January 12, 2018

Una veintena de personas del grupo de laicos de Osorno realizaron una velatón en el frontis de la Catedral de Santiago para exigir la salida del obispo de la ciudad Juan Barros, a quien se le sindica como encubridor de los abusos sexuales cometidos por Fernando Karadima.

La protesta se da dos días antes del arribo del papa Francisco a Chile, quien ha sido criticado por el nombramiento de Barros.

[Google Translation: The grouping of Osorninos accused the apostolic nuncio Ivo Scapolo of being "subservient to the interests of the people close to Fernando Karadima".

Juan Carlos Claret, spokesman for the Laity and Lay organization of Osorno, summoned the Pope and the episcopate of Santiago to meet with victims of sexual abuse by priests , as well as punishments against those who abetted these abuses. This at a press conference held in the vicinity of the Apostolic Nunciature of Santiago.

Following the letter of Pope Francisco of 2015 released on Thursday by Associated Press (AP), in which the Supreme Pontiff explains the background of the designation of Barros as bishop of Osorno, the group of Osorninos announced new manifestations.

For the Laity of Osorno " the nuncio (Ivo) Scapolo is subservient to the interests of the people close to Fernando Karadima and against that power Cardinal Ezzati and the Pope himself succumb. That letter shows the background of how bishops are chosen in Chile. "

Claret said that "if you read the letter you will notice that Jesus is not spoken, the highest good is not spoken, the welfare of the diocese is not spoken, but there is talk of a game of thrones of those who want to hold a power, which it is the episcopate, and they do everything possible to keep the cassock. "

Two days ago Claret said "where the Pope is in Santiago, we will be there". This is because in his words, and according to the organization he represents, " without a doubt, a piece is missing here and it is the opportunity that, having it on Chilean soil, the Pope has to respond".

While the Supreme Pontiff arrived, they announced a velatón in the cathedral of Osorno for this Friday at 8:00 pm , which will be a manifestation to demand answers to the episcopate for cases of abuse and possible cover-ups.

Likewise, a delegation from Osorno will arrive in Santiago to be part of the demonstrations that will accompany the papal activities.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:21 PM

Pontífice visitará tumba del “obispo de los pobres”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>Pontiff will visit tomb of the "bishop of the poor"

January 14, 2018

By Rivera and Y. Moya

[Note: This article details various changes made in the Pope's itinerary.]

El Papa Francisco orará donde descansan los restos de monseñor Enrique Alvear, obispo auxiliar de Santiago. Desde la organización anunciaron cambios en el recorrido que realizará la máxima autoridad de la Iglesia Católica por las calles de Santiago.

“Ojalá cuando llegue pudiese entrar a nuestra comunidad y visitar la tumba de don Enrique Alvear, que es el ‘obispo de los pobres’”. Ese era el anhelo de Julio Larrondo, párroco de la Iglesia San Luis Beltrán, de Pudahuel, cuando supo que el templo sería escenario de la primera parada del Papa en Chile. Y ayer, esta pretensión dejó de ser un deseo.

La comisión que organiza la vista del Papa confirmó ayer que tras la revisión de los últimos detalles por parte de la avanzada del Vaticano se sumará un momento de oración ante la tumba de monseñor Enrique Alvear, ex obispo de Santiago, fallecido en 1982 y conocido como el “obispo de los pobres”.

Cambio de ruta

Los cambios en el itinerario del Papa Francisco, dados a conocer ayer, contemplan que el lunes 15 arribe a las 19.55 al aeropuerto Arturo Merino Benítez, y desde allí se desplazará en un auto cerrado hasta la Parroquia San Luis Beltrán, en Pudahuel. Terminada esta actividad se trasladará hasta calle Brasil con Alameda.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:12 PM

He claimed sexual abuse by Catholic leaders, but a judge wasn't convinced

FORT WORTH (TX)
Star-Telegram

January 11, 2018

By Mitch Mitchell

A judge Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth filed by a man who said he was sexually abused while a student at a Wichita Falls Catholic school from 1990 to 1992.

Jason Montgomery filed the lawsuit in 2015, saying he was sexually abused by the late Rev. John Sutton while he was a student at Notre Dame Middle High School. Montgomery later amended his lawsuit to say that then-Principal Ron Staley also sexually abused him during that time. Montgomery's memory of the abuse returned in 2013, according to his lawyer.

Fort Worth Bishop Michael F. Olson investigated the allegations and found no evidence to support his claims, the diocese said. No other allegations of sexual misconduct have ever been made against Sutton, who died in 2004, or Staley, the diocese said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 3:23 PM

Shamed priest will be quizzed at child abuse inquiry

DUNDEE (SCOTLAND)
The Sunday Post

January 14, 2018

By Gordon Blackstock

A former priest who sexually abused young boys in care is to give evidence at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Sex offender Bernard Traynor, 64, has been called to give his testimony after allegations about him were made to the inquiry by former residents at Smyllum Park in Lanark last month.

Two former residents told Lady Smith, who leads the inquiry, they were sexually abused by Traynor after they were moved to another orphanage run by the same Catholic order in Newcastle.

One witness said he was sexually abused by Traynor at a caravan park in Scarborough in the 1970s.

Another former Smyllum resident said Traynor had sexually abused him at the Wallis’s Holiday Camp in Cayton Bay, Scarborough.

He also said the abuse continued at the St Vincent’s children’s home in Newcastle, run by the Daughters of Charity of Vincent de Paul, for “two or three years” afterwards.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 3:18 PM

As Pope Francis Heads to Chile and Peru, Argentina Feels Snubbed, Again

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

January 14, 2018

Leer en español: Mientras el papa visita Chile y Perú, los argentinos se preguntan: ¿y nosotros?

By Daniel Politijan

Buenos Aires - It was a sweltering afternoon at the rundown central bus station in Argentina’s capital, but Amelia Cartes Novoa was beaming despite the intolerable heat.

“I’m so excited,” Ms. Cartes said as she waited on a platform for the bus that would take her on a 21-hour ride across the Andes. She was on her way to attend a Mass that Pope Francis will celebrate in Santiago, Chile’s capital, on Tuesday.

“I’ve done this trip many times before but this one is particularly special,” she said.

Ms. Cartes is among the tens of thousands of Argentines planning to make a pilgrimage to Chile during the peak of the summertime holiday to catch a glimpse of the pope, who was born here in Buenos Aires. Much to the chagrin of many of his countrymen, Francis has not set foot in his homeland since his election in March 2013.

* * *

In Santiago, Francis is expected to face demonstrations for keeping Bishop Juan Barros as head of the Diocese of Osorno, 570 miles south of the capital, despite allegations he helped cover up a notorious case of clerical sexual abuse. Francis appointed him in January 2015 even though he was part of the inner circle of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, whom the Vatican found guilty of sexual abuse in 2011.

Francis called “dumb” the lay and religious organizations protesting in Osorno at the time.

“We are not convinced that the pope has really assumed this zero tolerance policy on sexual abuses,” said Juan Carlos Claret, 24, one of the organizers of the demonstrations. “He has showed infinite tolerance. Having all the power to do something, he prefers to remain ambiguous.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 3:12 PM

Agonizing Question for Irish: What to Do With Children’s Remains?

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

January 13, 2018

By Dan Barry

[Note: See also Barry's The Lost Children of Tuam, October 28, 2017; the brief (11-minute) NY Times documentary 796 Irish Children Vanished. Why? by Kassie Bracken et al., October 28, 2017; a list of the 796 children; Catherine Corless, The Home, her original investigation, published in the Journal of the Old Tuam Society, Vol. 9, 2012; the Expert Technical Group Report on the Tuam Site with updates; and the website of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.]

A few years ago, an amateur historian shook Ireland to its core with a ghastly allegation: Hundreds of bodies of young children appeared to have been buried in an abandoned septic system by Catholic nuns who for decades had managed a home for unwed mothers and their offspring in the County Galway town of Tuam.

Then, early last year, investigators confirmed that many commingled human remains have been found in just a single corner of the seven-acre site, where a subsidized housing project had long since replaced the old mother-and-baby home.

Amid the many emotional reactions that followed was one particularly painful question: What should be done with the juvenile remains in the ground?

Last month, a team of forensic experts assembled by Katherine Zappone, Ireland’s minister for children, issued a report that presented several possible answers, but not before noting the “unprecedented” challenges.

“The group has not identified any directly comparable cases, either nationally or internationally, that involved the complexities of commingled juvenile human remains, in significant quantities and in such a restricted physical location,” the report said.

* * *

The report’s suggestions have offended the likes of Peter Mulryan, who spent the first few years of his life in the Tuam home and was eventually handed over to a foster father who beat and exploited him. He learned, only recently, that he had a half sister who died at the home in 1950s and that her remains, presumably, are commingled in the site’s unconsecrated ground.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:29 AM

January 13, 2018

Anne Barrett-Doyle sobre obispo Barros: “Debería salir, pero no tenemos esperanza de que eso ocurra”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Radio Universidad de Chile

>>Anne Barrett-Doyle on Bishop Barros: "He should be removed, but we have no hope of that happening"

January 10, 2018

By Maximiliano Alarcón

La representante de Bishop Accountability, organización estadounidense que recopila información en todo el mundo respecto de miembros de la Iglesia Católica acusados de abuso sexual o violación de menores, presentó un listado con 79 nombres del credo en nuestro país vinculados a estos casos. Todo en medio de la visita del Papa Francisco, de quien esperan alguna acción concreta más que palabras.

Durante este miércoles, en medio de la inminente visita del Papa Francisco a nuestro país, la sede de la Fundación para la Confianza sirvió de espacio para que Anne Barrett-Doyle entregara de manera pública los antecedentes que recopilaron con la organización Bishop Accountability respecto de los sacerdotes o miembros de la Iglesia Católica chilena que han sido acusados alguna vez por abusos sexuales o violaciones en contra de menores de edad.

La lista que se encuentra publicada en el sitio www.bishop-accountability.org consigna a 79 casos nacionales, pero según Barret-Doyle, representante de la organización, es posible que aún existan muchos casos ocultos.

[Partial Google Translation:

Q. Concealment is another of the most serious problems along with cases of abuse or rape. In your experience in other countries, what steps can civil society, journalism or other institutions take to face the cover-up?

A. There must be a law within the church for any bishop or anyone who knows about these abuses to report them. But the real answer comes from outside the church, from lay organizations, from prosecutors who can get involved in this issue and solve it. When a Chilean bishop spends a day in jail you will see changes in the Chilean church.

Q. It is difficult to expect such changes in Chile, which despite being a secular country, invests a large amount of resources in the visit of the pope, in addition to being the church a major player in politics.

A. agree. Investing so much time and resources and not taking concrete actions for the good of the church seems a waste of time.

Q. Do you hope that Pope Francis will make a gesture towards the victims in Chile?

A. In meetings with the victims, which may or may not occur, the really important thing is that after this a change really happens, in the past it has not happened.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 3:23 PM

Laicos de Osorno: No nos prestaremos para un lavado de imagen durante la visita del papa

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Cooperativa

>>Lay of Osorno: We will not lend ourselves to a washing of image during the visit of the Pope

January 13, 2018

A dos días del arribo del papa Francisco a Chile, y en medio de la incertidumbre sobre la postura que adoptará respecto al obispo Juan Barros -sindicado como uno de los encubridores de los abusos del cura Karadima- los laicos de Osorno advirtieron en Cooperativa que, luego de las "humillaciones" que han sufrido, durante la visita "no se prestarán para un lavado de imagen".

Cabe recordar que el pontífice, en el año 2015, trató de "tontos y zurdos" a quienes, en la ciudad de la Región de Los Lagos, se oponen a la figura de Barros, y los integrantes del movimiento de laicos ya anunciaron manifestaciones durante la visita papal.

Además, en las últimas horas una carta del papa Francisco -dirigida al Comité Permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile, con fecha del 31 de enero de 2015- reveló un plan del Vaticano para pedir la renuncia y otorgar un año sabático a tres obispos -entre ellos Barros- acusados de encubrir los abusos del ex párroco de El Bosque Fernando Karadima.

[Partial Google Translation: The spokesman of the lay community of Osorno, Juan Carlos Claret , said that "if the Pope wants to speak with us, by virtue of the filtering of this letter, we will be available, but we will not be available to be a conversation where we have to enter through the backyard of the Nunciature (Apostolic) , in which we have to walk saying that we are going to have to keep confidentiality for centuries of the centuries, as Rome does after having private meetings ".

"At this moment we are demanding that we be recognized as equals within the Church, and we will not lend ourselves to games of image washing ," the activist warned.

"For three years we have been forced to beg inside the Church." We have repeatedly addressed the Pope, the Apostolic Nuncio (Ivo Scapolo , the Holy See's principal representative to the Government) has been extremely violent with us " and, after this letter, "you should leave Chile," Claret continued.

" The Pope even, on August 16, 2016, was going to receive me in the Vatican , I traveled there, but when I arrived in Rome, the Pope sent me to say through the Embassy of Chile in the Holy Headquarters, through Italo Capurro (second secretary of the permanent diplomatic mission), who was not going to receive me because the issue of Osorno irritates him , "said the spokesman for the city's laity.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 3:14 PM

3 Chile churches firebombed, president calls for ‘respect’

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via Washington Post

January 12, 2018

By Eva Vergara and Peter Prengaman

President Michelle Bachelet asked Chileans on Friday to receive Pope Francis in a “climate of respect,” hours after three Roman Catholic churches were firebombed and a note left at the scene threatening the pontiff.

In the overnight attacks in Santiago, the capital and largest city where the pope will arrive Monday, the churches were hit with firebombs and then sprayed with accelerant. At one, the doors were burned before firefighters extinguished the blaze.

“The next bombs will be in your cassock,” read pamphlets found outside one of the churches.

* * *

It was unclear who might have been behind Friday’s attacks. A small minority of Mapuches have used violence to further their cause, and in recent years churches have been targeted.

Chile also has a handful of anarchist groups that periodically attack property and clash with police during protests.

The pamphlet that threatened the pope mentioned the Mapuche cause and called for the liberation of “all political prisoners in the world.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 3:07 PM

Sex abuse, political turmoil overshadow pope in Chile, Peru

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press via Washington Post

January 12, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis’ trip to Chile and Peru, originally aimed at highlighting the plight of indigenous peoples and the delicate Amazon ecosystem, is being overshadowed by the Catholic Church’s dismal record confronting priestly sex abuse in Chile and political turmoil in Peru.

On the eve of the trip, vandals attacked five churches with firebombs in the Chilean capital of Santiago and warned in a leaflet that “the next bombs will be in your cassock.” That was an unprecedented threat against the pope and a violent start to what were already expected to be the first-ever protests against Francis on a foreign trip.

The Vatican agreed to the Chile visit knowing that the local church had lost much of the moral authority it earned during the Pinochet dictatorship, when bishops spoke out against human rights abuses when other institutions were silenced. But now, the Catholic Church in Chile has been largely marginalized, criticized as out-of-touch with today’s secular youth and discredited by its botched handling of a notorious pedophile priest.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:56 PM

St. Louis area priest charged with 16 counts of child porn and possession of meth

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Kansas City Star

By Kaley Johnson

January 10, 2018

A Catholic priest who was arrested Monday by Belleville police was charged with 16 counts of child pornography Tuesday.

The Rev. Gerald R. Hechenberger, associate pastor of Holy Childhood Church and school in Mascoutah, Ill., was charged with the following:

- Eight counts of dissemination of child pornography

- Seven counts of possession of child pornography (photos)

- One count of possession of child pornography (video)

Hechenberger, 54, also was charged with possession of methamphetamine.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:49 PM

Abingdon vicar Timothy Davis 'spiritually abused' teenage boy, tribunal finds

OXFORD (ENGLAND)
Oxford Mail

January 9, 2018

By Sophie Grubb

A vicar has been found guilty of 'spiritually abusing' a teenage boy.

Reverend Timothy Davis was found guilty of misconduct whilst leading Christ Church in Abingdon, relating to behaviour with a boy aged between 15 and 16 years old.

The Bishop's Disciplinary Tribunal has released its judgement against Mr Davis, who is aged in his 50s.

It is understood to be the first time a tribunal has convicted a priest of spiritual abuse.

The Diocese of Oxford has condemned his actions, saying he 'betrayed the trust of everyone involved'.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:46 PM

3 men sue Archdiocese of Portland alleging sex abuse in North Bend

COOS BAY (OR)
The World

January 11, 2018

By Tim Epperson

North Bend - Three men filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Archdiocese of Portland alleging they were sexually abused as children by a priest in North Bend during the early 1980s.

The lawsuit, filed today in United States District Court for the District of Oregon, alleges that the three victims, who were not identified in the complaint, were each abused by the Rev. Pius Brazauskas who worked at the Holy Redeemer Church in North Bend from the late 1970s until as late as 1990.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that they were sexually abused on multiple occasions between 1978 and 1982, when they were each between five and 12 years old. They allege that the abuse included the priest French kissing the boys, pressing his erect penis against them and groping their genitals.

The plaintiffs are the first known victims to speak publicly about abuse by Brazauskas.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:43 PM

3 men allege Oregon coast priest abused them as children, sue for $29M

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

January 10, 2018

By Aimee Green

[Note: See also the legal complaint.]

Three men who say they were sexually abused when they were boys in the 1970s and 1980s by a Catholic priest on the Oregon coast filed a $29 million lawsuit Wednesday against the Archdiocese of Portland.

The men say a now deceased priest, Pius Brazauskas, abused them when they were between ages 5 and 12 by French kissing them, groping their genitals and pressing himself against them.

Brazauskas was assigned to Holy Redeemer Church in North Bend at the time, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.

Peter Janci, one of the lawyers representing the men, said he believes this is the first time anyone has publicly named Brazauskas as an alleged child abuser.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:37 PM

Man told to 'shut up' after alleging sexual abuse by priest at group home: lawsuit

WINNIPEG (MANITOBA, CANADA)
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

January 12, 2018

By Cameron MacLean

A Manitoba man alleges a now deceased priest sexually abused him at a Winnipeg group home — and that a supervisor at the home ignored the abuse when he tried to report it.

The allegations are part of a lawsuit filed last month by the man, who was a ward of Credo Home. That's the same Winnipeg group home where Catholic priest and convicted pedophile Omer Desjardins worked.

Desjardins died of a heart attack at the age of 85 on Dec. 4, 2017 just as he was about to go to trial on new charges for alleged offences dating back to the late 1980s.

At that time, Desjardins worked as a caretaker at Credo Home, which was run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a Roman Catholic religious community to which Desjardins belonged.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:28 PM

Priest Added to Clergy List

ST. CLOUD (MN)
KNSI

January 12, 2018

By Matt Demczyk

[Note: See also the St. Cloud diocese's updated list.]

Another name has been added to the list of clergy who served in parishes within the Diocese of Saint Cloud and have been identified as likely to have abused minors.

Father Antonio Marfori becomes the 40th person on the list.

In October of 2015, a lawsuit was filed accusing Marfori of sexually abusing a St. Cloud Cathedral High School student in the 1970s while Marfori was teaching at the school.

Bishop Donald Kettler ordered an investigation and told Marfori that he couldn't function or present himself as a priest during the investigation.

A second complaint was filed in March of 2016, alleging Marfori sexually abused a minor in the late 1970s while he was an instructor at Cathedral High School.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:14 PM

New London Man Alleging Priest Abuse Receives $900K Settlement

HARTFORD (CT)
Connecticut Law Tribune

January 12, 2018

By Andrew Denney

[See also the complaint regarding abuse by Fr Charles Many.]

Father Charles Many molested Andrew Aspinwall when he was an altar boy in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The Diocese of Norwich, a Catholic church in Groton and a Vermont-based order of priests have agreed to pay a $900,000 settlement to a New London man who says a priest molested him when he was an altar boy at the church in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Plaintiff Andrew Aspinwall says he was molested by Father Charles Many, who was assigned to the Sacred Heart Church in Groton by the Society of St. Edmund. The church is within the Diocese of Norwich.

Many was removed from parish service in 1986, according to a news release from Kelly Reardon of the Reardon Law Firm, which represented Aspinwall.

Reardon was able to obtain documents from the Society of St. Edmund’s archives showing that church officials knew as early as 1976—two years before he was assigned to Sacred Heart—that Many was “receiving boys in his room.”

In an interview, Reardon said Aspinwall’s decision to make his name public in the case was both “brave” and unusual for an abuse victim, but that he did so after much thought to encourage other potential victims to come forward.

“He thought it was important for people not to hide after something horrible like this has happened to them,” Reardon said.

Aspinwall filed suit in 2015 alleging nine counts against the defendants, which also included Bishop Daniel Reilly, accusing them of negligence, reckless and wanton conduct, conspiracy to commit fraud and other claims.

Reardon said her firm has handled at least 20 cases involving victims of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy members.

Bradford Babbitt of Robinson & Cole appeared for the diocese and Philip Newbury Jr. of Howd & Ludorf appeared for the Society of St. Edmund. They could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:06 PM

Carta revela que Papa Francisco recomendó dar año sabático a obispo Barros para bajar la tensión sobre casos de abusos sexuales

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
El Mostrador

>>Letter reveals that Pope Francis recommended giving sabbatical to Bishop Barros to lower the tension on cases of sexual abuse

January 12, 2018

En el escrito dirigido al Comité Permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile, el máximo jerarca de la Iglesia católica confesó que sabía de la polémica generada por las denuncias entorno al obispo de Osorno por su encubrimiento a Karadima.

A cuatro días de que el Papa Francisco llegue a Chile, The Associated Press, dio a conocer una reveladora carta escrita por el máximo jerarca de la Iglesia católica en donde reconoce que el Vaticano estaba preocupado por los daños que provocaría el caso de Karadima en Chile y que por eso intentó poner en marcha un plan para lidiar con los abusos sexuales.

En la misiva dirigida al Comité Permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile, Francisco intenta justificar el nombramiento del 10 de enero de 2015, cuando designó a Barros obispo de la ciudad de Osorno.

[Partial Google Translation: This Friday, the Episcopal Conference of Chile referred to the letter written by its Supreme Pontiff, and confirmed its authenticity through its spokesman Jaime Coiro. "Our spokesperson @ JaimeCoiro confirms the authenticity of the Pope's letter to the Standing Committee of the CECh disclosed by @ APNews, " they said through their Twitter account.

Our spokesperson @JaimeCoiro confirms the authenticity of the Pope's letter to the Standing Committee of the CECh disclosed by @APNews .

- Conf.Episcopal Chile (@episcopado_cl) January 12, 2018

It should be remembered that the revelation of this letter is opposed to the statements that the Pope delivered in 2015, where he publicly defended Barros and even went so far as to say that the inhabitants of Osorno suffered from "fools" and that they allowed themselves to be manipulated by "left-handers".

On the occasion, Bergoglio claimed to be "the first to judge and punish someone who has accusations of that kind, but in this case there is no proof, I tell you from my heart."]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:53 PM

Ezzati por acusaciones de encubrimiento y carta del Papa: “He actuado con mucha verdad, a pesar de lo que digan algunas mentes desquiciadas en EE.UU.”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
El Mostrador

>>Ezzati on accusations of cover-up and letter from the Pope: "I have acted with great truth, despite what some deranged minds in the US say"

January 12, 2018

Este viernes el arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, se refirió a la carta escrita por el Papa Francisco en 2015 que revela que tenía conocimiento sobre las denuncias en contra del obispo de Osorno, Juan Barros, por encubrimiento de los abusos cometidos por Fernando Karadima.

"Los abusos son siempre muy graves. Yo siempre he dicho que aunque hubiera solamente un caso, ese caso sería sumamente grave. Frente a todos los abusos yo puedo decir, personalmente, que he tenido siempre una claridad muy grande", afirmó Ezzati.

Asimismo recalcó que dicha carta no es de su competencia porque la recibió la Conferencia Episcopal y no él.

Sin embargo, aclaró que "he actuado siempre con mucha verdad y con mucha conciencia, a pesar de lo que digan algunas mentes desquiciadas en EE.UU.", haciendo referencia también a la publicación de la organización internacional Bishop Accountability que durante esta semana dio a conocer datos sobre las denuncias de abusos sexuales en contra de la Iglesia Católica en Chile y que acumula 78 casos.

[Partial Google Translation: However, he clarified that "I have always acted with much truth and with a lot of conscience, in spite of what some deranged minds say in the USA", also referring to the publication of the international organization Bishop Accountability that during this week gave to know facts about the denunciations of sexual abuses against the Catholic Church in Chile and that it accumulates 78 cases.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:43 PM

El Nuncio en Chile "complicó y bloqueó" la renuncia de Juan Barros

MADRID (SPAIN)
Religión Digital

>>The Nuncio in Chile "complicated and blocked" the resignation of Juan Barros

January 12, 2018

By Jesus Pretty

El Papa Francisco quiso frenar el 'caso Barros'... y no pudo. Esta es una de las conclusiones que pueden sacarse de una carta que Bergolio envió a la Conferencia Episcopal chilena el 31 de enero de 2015, y que acaba de desvelar la Associated Press.

En la misma, el Papa revela que intentó pedir la renuncia al actual obispo de Osorno, y a otros dos prelados vinculados al pederasta Fernando Karadima, y que habían sido acusados de encubrimiento. Sin embargo, algo falló. ¿Qué pasó realmente?

El Papa intenta explicarlo en la misiva: "Surgió luego, hacia fin de año (últimos días de diciembre de 2014), un problema serio. El Sr. Nuncio (Ivo Scapolo) le pide a Mons. Barros la renuncia y lo exhorta a tomar un período sabático (un año, por ejemplo) antes de asumir otra responsabilidad pastoral como Obispo diocesano. Y le comentó que el mismo proceder se tomará con los obispos de Talca y de Linares (también implicados en el caso Karadima), pero que no se los dijera a ellos".

[Partial Google Translation: Everything seems to indicate that the Nuncio was ahead of the wishes of the Pope and that, by 'exhorting' Barros to resign, he prevented a dialogue between the controversial bishop and Francisco. Then, Barros would not submit his resignation voluntarily, but obliged by the papal representative, who should have been admonished by Cardinal Ouellet. However, the performance of the Nuncio "complicated and blocked" any solution to the Osorno theme.

According to Ap, the Vatican was concerned "about the collateral damage that would be caused by the worst pedophile cure in Chile and tried to implement a plan: request the resignation and give a sabbatical to three Chilean bishops accused of having covered up the abuses of that priest. "

In the end, on January 10, 2015, Francisco named Barros bishop of the city of Osorno , about 930 kilometers south of the Chilean capital, provoking a cataract of protests that became visible on the day of his episcopal ordination, and that, three years later, they still continue. It is expected that during the imminent visit of the Pope to Chile, the "Osorno case" will return to the fore. In fact, some of Karadima's victims have asked to meet with the Pope, without any meeting so far.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:27 PM

Revelan una carta del papa Francisco en la que expone el plan del Vaticano para lidiar con los abusos sexuales de un cura en Chile

BUENOS AIRES (ARGENTINA)
Infobae

January 12, 2018

>>Letter from Pope Francis revealed in which he exposes the Vatican plan to deal with the sexual abuse of a priest in Chile

[Note: See the AP report and the letter.]

La agencia de noticias Associated Press publicó una misiva confidencial del Sumo Pontífice, fechada el 31 de enero de 2015. Allí señala la intención de darle "un año sabático" a tres obispos acusados de encubrir los crímenes del cura Fernando Karadima y por qué se frustró la estrategia

El Vaticano estaba preocupado por los daños colaterales que provocaría el caso del mayor cura pederasta de Chile e intentó poner en marcha un plan: pedir la renuncia de Fernando Karadima y darles un año sabático a tres obispos chilenos acusados de haber encubierto los abusos de ese sacerdote.

The Associated Press obtuvo una carta confidencial del papa Francisco, fechada el 31 de enero de 2015, la cual revela parte de un plan del Vaticano sobre cómo lidiar con los obispos chilenos señalados de proteger los crímenes del cura.

[Partial Google Translation: This priest was for decades at the head of El Bosque church, in the elegant Providencia neighborhood of Santiago, Chile, and turned it into a hotbed of more than 50 priests, as well as training five bishops: Andrés Arteaga, Felipe Bacarezza, Horacio Valenzuela, Tomislav Koljatic and Juan Barros.

The Chilean Catholic Church ignored for years the complaints of acolytes that Karadima had sexually abused them, and only initiated some actions after the victims made their cases public in 2010.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:15 PM

Según Estudio, Chile es el país de América Latina que peor evalúa al Papa

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>According to study, Chile is the country in Latin America that rates the Pope lowest

[See the report El Papa Francisco y La Religión en Chile y América Latina.]

January 12, 2018

By Rodrigo Retamal

Un informe de Latinobarómetro señala, además, que nuestro país es el que cuenta con menos católicos y el que confía menos en la iglesia dentro de la zona geográfica analizada. Revisa el documento.

A tres días de la primera visita que el Papa Francisco realizará a Chile, Latinobarómetro -encuesta de opinión pública que representa la percepción de los mayores de edad en 18 países de América Latina- dio a conocer los resultados del estudio “El Papa Francisco y la Religión en Chile y América Latina Latinobarómetro 1995-2017”, los que evidencian cómo ha evolucionado la opinión que tienen los latinoamericanos respecto de la religión y de la figura del Pontífice en los últimos 22 años.

De los 18 países encuestados, Chile presenta una serie de particularidades que se han ido acentuando a través del tiempo: Si el promedio de los latinoamericanos evaluó en 2017 al Papa Mario Bergolio con nota 6,8 en un rango que va de 0 a 10, Chile le entregó la peor nota de la región con un 5,3. Perú, país al que asistirá el Papa una vez que finalice su visita por nuestro país, lo evalúa con un 6,8, mientras que su país de origen, Argentina, le otorga un 6,6.

[Partial Google Translation: In the particular case of Chile, the percentage of Catholics fell from 74% in 1995 to 45% in 2017. According to the study, this decrease was sustained since 2010, when it fell from 65 to 60% in one year, which coincides with the uncovering of the "Karadima Case". "Only the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Uruguay, Chile and Honduras have less than 50% of Catholic inhabitants according to the survey." says Lagos.

Along with diminishing the practice of Catholicism, Latinobarómetro also showed a surprising drop in confidence toward the church, especially in Chil e. If in 22 years confidence in this institution dropped from 76% to 65%, in Chile it experienced a sharp drop, going from 80% in 1995 to 36% in 2017.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 12:57 PM

Ezzati descarta participación en carta enviada por Papa a Conferencia Episcopal por obispo Barros

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>Ezzati rules out participation in letter sent by Pope to Episcopal Conference by Bishop Barros

January 12, 2018

[Note: Cardinal Ezzati was the president of the bishops conference and its permanent (standing) committee at the time that Pope Francis sent the letter to the committee. The announcement of his reelection to a three-year term was made on November 7, 2013.]

El Arzobispo de Santiago también se refirió a los templos incendiados durante las últimas horas.

Este viernes el Arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, recorrió las iglesias afectadas por los ataques incendiarios durante las últimas horas en Peñalolén, Estación Central, Quinta Normal y Recoleta. Además se refirió a la carta enviada por el Papa a la Conferencia Episcopal en 2015 donde abordaba la situación de Barros.

“Nos duelen profundamente estos hechos contradicen el espíritu de paz que anima la visita del Papa al país”, sostuvo Ezatti.

Y llamó a “reflexionar sobre la necesidad de que exista respeto y tolerancia entre todos, para construir una patria de hermanos”.

[Partial Google Translation: "The letter is authentic, what it says there is what the Holy Father says. The content of what the letter says is not my competence, I do not know what may have been behind. The letter was received by the Episcopal Conference, it was not sent to me personally, it was addressed to the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Conference "said Ezzati when asked about this issue.

Consulted by the possibility that the Pope would have contemplated asking Barros to take a sabbatical year, the Archbishop said: "Abuses are always very serious. I have always said that even if there were only one case, that case would be serious. And in front of all the abuses I say that I have a very great clarity and I have acted with a lot of truth and a lot of conscience, in spite of what some deranged minds in the United States say ".

However, he insisted that he can not interpret the intentions of the letter. "Regarding the intentions I had, if it was Monsignor Barros in his dialogue with the nuncio or in his dialogue with the Pope, do not ask me because that is not my competence.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 12:44 PM

Carta del Papa de 2015 reabre polémica por obispo Barros

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

>>Pope's letter of 2015 reopens controversy by Bishop Barros

January 12, 2018

By C. Reyes and P. Castillo

“La carta es auténtica, lo que dice allí es lo que dice el Santo Padre. El contenido no es de competencia mía, no sé lo que puede haber habido detrás. Fue recibida por la Conferencia Episcopal, no fue enviada a mí personalmente, fue dirigida al Comité Permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal”.

De esta forma, el arzobispo de Santiago, cardenal Ricardo Ezzati, se refirió y validó la misiva que data de 2015 y que la Agencia AP publicó hoy, en la cual el Papa Francisco se refería al nombramiento de Juan Barros como obispo de Osorno, a la aparente preocupación de los obispos chilenos y a la solicitud del nuncio apostólico, Ivo Scapolo, de pedirle un año sabático al prelado del sur.

“Muchas gracias por manifestar abiertamente la inquietud que en estos momentos tienen respecto del nombramiento de Mons. Juan Barros Madrid. Comprendo lo que me dicen y soy consciente de que la situación de la Iglesia de Chile es difícil debido a todas las pruebas que han tenido que soportar”, se lee en el documento, fechado el 31 de enero de 2015 y firmado por el Pontífice.

[Partial Google Translation: In addition, the document was known in a complex day for the Apostolic Nunciature, following two manifestations that took place in front of its offices in Providencia. The most relevant was carried out by a group of lay people from Osorno who opposed Barros. His spokesman, Juan Carlos Claret, said that "this letter comes to reaffirm suspicions that we have been enunciating for three years regarding the procedure of the nuncio Ivo Scapolo".

In the Episcopal Conference it was also ratified that "the letter that the AP agency has made known is effective, it was received by the bishops of the Standing Committee (of the CECh) in February or March of the year 2015".]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:57 AM

Ezzati y ataques a iglesias: "Quiere decir que la visita del Papa es tan valiosa que a algunos no les gusta"

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
24 Horas

[Ezzati and attacks on churches: "It means that the Pope's visit is so valuable that some do not like it"]

January 12, 2018

[Note: Includes video of Cardinal Ezzati's entire interview.]

El cardenal Ricado Ezzati visitó la Iglesia Santa Isabel de Hungría, en Estación Central, la que fue atacada con elementos incendiarios y panfletos contra la visita del Papa Francisco.

El arzobispo metropolitano señaló tras visitar los templos afectados que "gracias a Dios los daños materiales no son de gravedad. La gravedad es la intolerancia de quienes teniendo el derecho de disentir, disienten con formas que no son adecuadas".

* * *

Respecto a la misiva revelada por AP en donde se exhibe la preocupación del Papa Francisco por la designación del obispo Juan Barros, el sacerdote manifestó que "la carta es auténtica, lo que dice ahí es lo que dice el Santo Padre, lo que dice no es de competencia mía, no sé qué habrá habido detrás, no la recibí personalmente", aseveró.

"Los abusos siempre son muy graves, frente a todos los abusos puedo decir que siempre he tenido una claridad muy grande y he actuado con mucha verdad y conciencia, a pesar de lo que digan algunas mentes desquiciadas de Estados Unidos", enfatizó.

[Partial Google Translation: Regarding the letter revealed by AP in which the concern of Pope Francis for the appointment of Bishop Juan Barros is exhibited, the priest said that "the letter is authentic, what it says there is what the Holy Father says, what it says It's my competence, I do not know what was behind it, I did not receive it personally, "he said.

[4:53] The abuses are always very serious, in the face of all the abuses I can say that I have always had a very great clarity and I have acted with a lot of truth and conscience, in spite of what some deranged minds of the United States say," he emphasized.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:43 AM

Carta del Papa Francisco / Letter of Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY
Religión Digital

The full Spanish text of the Pope's letter regarding Bishop Barros with a Google translation.

Vatican, January 31, 2015

To the Bishops of the Permanent Committee of the Episcopal Conference of Chile

Dear brothers:

I received the email dated 23 of this month. Thank you very much for expressing openly the concern that you have at this moment regarding the appointment of Bishop Juan Barros Madrid. I understand what they tell me and I am aware that the situation of the Church of Chile is difficult due to all the tests that have had to endure.

I assure you, in addition to my fraternal understanding, my closeness as a brother and my prayer.

I remember well your visit in February of last year and also the various proposals, which I found prudent and constructive.

However, a serious problem arose later in the year. Señor Nuncio [Archbishop Ivo Scapolo ] asks Msgr. Barros to resign [from his position of Bishop of the Military Ordinariate of Chile] and urges him to take a sabbatical (one year, for example) before assuming another pastoral responsibility as a diocesan Bishop. And he says that the same procedure will be taken with the Bishops of Talca [Bishop Horacio del Carmen Valenzuela Abarca] and Linares [Bishop Tomislav Koljatic Maroevic], but not to tell them. Msgr. Barros sends the text of his resignation adding this comment from the Nuncio.

As you can understand, this comment by Señor Nuncio complicated and blocked any eventual further path in the sense of offering a sabbatical year. We discussed the matter with Cardinal Ouellet [President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops] and I know that he spoke with Señor Nuncio.

In these moments, by express indication of the Congregation for Bishops, Bishop Barros is doing the month of Spiritual Exercises in Spain. I do not know if it will pass through Rome at the end, but I will warn Cardinal Ouellet and the suggestion that you make.

I thank you once again for your openness and frankness in expressing your opinion and feeling: it is the only way to work for the Church, whose care the Lord has entrusted to the Bishops.

I ask you, please, to pray for me, because I need it.

May Jesus bless you and the Holy Virgin take care of you.

Fraternally,
Francisco

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:03 AM

January 12, 2018

In Kansas City, Kansas priest trial, the child alleging abuse had these bikers on her side

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Kansas City Star

January 10, 2018

By Rick Montgomery

The girl stepped into the courtroom with her new biker friends.

They had provided a motorcade escort to her family — two motorcyclists ahead of a donated car (no identifying plates) and two behind. They cocooned the 13-year-old when she entered the Wyandotte County building.

The bikers, with prosecutors and counsel, surrounded her as she and her parents walked down the hallways and to their seats before a judge.

They stayed close to ensure the girl would have minimal eye contact with the priest she was accusing.

On one side of the courtroom during the December criminal hearing sat Catholic parishioners and clergy. They were shoulder to shoulder, many in formal black attire. Some prayed aloud with rosaries.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:12 AM

Carta abierta de James Hamilton a Francisco

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
The Clinic Online

[Open letter from James Hamilton to Pope Francis]

January 8, 2018

Aún no comprendo cómo nosotros, los miles de víctimas de abuso, no hayamos sido protegidos por nuestros pastores y sacerdotes, quienes eran testigos mudos de lo que nos pasaba.

Hace pocos días un respetado sacerdote “progre” comentaba que no se sentía en condiciones de denunciar, ni siquiera ante su obispo, a otro sacerdote abusador o perverso. El argumento que esgrimía era que en la justicia civil el testimonio de un cónyuge, hermano o familiar directo, no se consideraba válido, y dado que para él el involucrado era más que un hermano de sangre, no podría elevar testimonio en su contra.

Por breves momento tuve un flashback de cuando Fernando Karadima les hablaba a “sus” sacerdotes y obispos acerca de la dignidad sacerdotal, que pasaban a ser hermanos de Jesucristo y que eso los hacía entrar en la comunidad de los elegidos.

[Partial Google Translation: I still do not understand how we, the thousands of victims of abuse, have not been protected by our pastors and priests, who were silent witnesses of what was happening to us.

A few days ago a respected priest "progre" commented that he did not feel able to denounce, even before his bishop, another abuser or perverse priest. The argument that he wielded was that in civil justice the testimony of a spouse, brother or immediate family member was not considered valid, and since for him the person involved was more than a blood brother, he could not raise testimony against him.

For a brief moment I had a flashback of when Fernando Karadima spoke to "his" priests and bishops about priestly dignity, who became brothers of Jesus Christ and that made them enter the community of the elect.

In that moment, I never imagined that those words were so prophetic. With time before me, a solid, unshakeable ecclesial structure was unveiled, forged in the infinite pacts of silence that they have to protect themselves, while spilling thousand-year-old blood in the bodies of defenseless, curious and kind children who are left to their care.

* * *

Why, faced with the loyal and trusting denunciation of victims already weakened by suffering and age, through the channels established by yourselves, the response has almost invariably been the same: denial, indifference, silence and coldness?

Why is it allowed for the silent transfer of these clerics to other parishes and even other countries or continents, where thousands of children and adolescents continue to be exposed to these predators?

How was it left to numerous priests already identified as pedophiles and abusers in charge of homes for minors?

How was it never explained to us that we were the real victims when the priests gave us an ear to each confession, where we blamed ourselves for having committed a very serious sin that finally induced them to sin against them?]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:04 AM

Vocero de laicos de Osorno: "Donde el Papa esté en Santiago vamos a estar nosotros"

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
24 Horas

[Spokesman for lay people in Osorno: "Where the Pope is in Santiago, we will be there"]

January 9, 2018

By Francesca Cassinelli

Juan Carlos Claret anunció las protestas que planea la organización para manifestar el disgusto por el nombramiento del Obispo Juan Barros, cercano a Karadima.

El próximo lunes aterrizará en Chile el Papa Francisco y entre los temas que rodean su visita hay algunos tópicos que podrían desencadenar manifestaciones en los lugares que visitará.

Uno de los temas es el caso del nombramiento del obispo Juan Barros Madrid en Osorno, sacerdote que ha sido ligado a Fernando Karadima y que diversas organizaciones ciudadanas apuntan como encubridor del ex párroco condenado por abusos sexuales.

[Partial Google Translation: The spokesman of the organization of laity and secular of Osorno, Juan Carlos Claret , anticipates that some representatives of the group will travel to Santiago next Sunday to express their displeasure with the appointment and request measures in this regard.

"Where the Pope is in Santiago, we will be there." We discard the Araucanía because it has its own agenda, " Claret says to 24Horas.cl , stating that they will carry banners and shout.

"We demand that the authority be consistent because we are generally prevented from demonstrating with placards or shouting at religious activities," the spokesperson said, adding that if shouting and placards are allowed to the parishioners, the protesters should also be allowed.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:57 AM

Felipe Berríos: No entiendo por qué el papa no se reúne con las víctimas de Karadima

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Cooperativa

[Felipe Berríos: I do not understand why the Pope does not meet with the victims of Karadima]

January 11, 2018

El sacerdote jesuita Felipe Berríos dijo a Cooperativa que, durante su visita a Chile, el papa Francisco debería hacer a lo menos un "gesto" a las víctimas de abusos sexuales de Fernando Karadima, y recibirlas para escuchar "lo que tienen que decir".

"Yo la verdad es que no entiendo por qué (no se hace). Se argumenta que el papa está solamente tres días, pero se podría haber hecho algún gesto pequeño, un encuentro del papa sobre todo con las víctimas del caso Karadima, que es tan emblemático, para que pueda oír lo que ellos tengan que decir", dijo Berríos a El Diario de Cooperativa.

[Partial Google Translation: The Jesuit priest Felipe Berríos told Cooperativa that, during his visit to Chile, Pope Francisco should make at least one "gesture" to the victims of sexual abuse of Fernando Karadima , and receive them to listen to "what they have to say".

"The truth is that I do not understand why (it is not done.) It is argued that the pope is only three days, but a small gesture could have been made, a meeting of the pope especially with the victims of the Karadima case, which is so emblematic , so that I can hear what they have to say.

* * *

Berríos stressed that the members of the Osorno lay movement " are Catholics, they are people who belong to the Catholic community and who, out of affection for the Church, pronounce themselves in this way," announcing demonstrations during the papal visit .

"They are not against the Church or against the Pope, they are against certain attitudes that the hierarchical church has had, that is what they are alleging and they have every reason to do it (...) I do not see as a bad thing all this is done with respect and without violence, "he said.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:41 AM

Will the Pope Address Sexual Abuse in the Chilean Church?

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

January 12, 2018

By Ariel Dorfman

Santiago, Chile — On Monday, Pope Francis begins a four-day visit to Chile. For his trip to be successful, he must confront the scandalous sexual crimes of a vile Chilean priest, Fernando Karadima. Newspapers and television broadcasts in Santiago are filled with reports about Father Karadima’s abuse of minors and his impunity.

The allegations against Father Karadima were brought to the attention of the Chilean church in 2004. No inquiry was opened until the victims — after being pressured into silence for years — finally went public.

On Thursday morning, a poll on a Santiago radio station claimed that 90 percent of Chileans want the pope to meet the victims, ask for forgiveness and condemn Father Karadima. On Monday, victims abused by priests from several countries are meeting the Chilean victims to denounce the Vatican’s inadequate response to sexual abuse. And there is talk of protests during the papal visit.

I was 16 when I first encountered Father Karadima in 1958. He was a spiritual guide to fervently religious friends who attended the wealthy parish of El Bosque, over which he presided, a short bike ride away from my home in Santiago.

Though I was an atheist myself, of Jewish origin and left-wing ideas, I was intrigued by the awe in which my buddies held this 27-year-old priest they called saintly, the wisdom and solace they said he offered them, troubled as they were by the doubts and confusion of puberty. So when I received, to my surprise, an invitation to talk with the holy man, I did not hesitate to accept.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:35 AM

Former priest Peter Waters to stand trial on historic sex abuse charges

VICTORIA (BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA)
The Age

January 12, 2018

By Adam Cooper

A former Catholic priest will stand trial on charges he sexually assaulted six children across Victoria more than 30 years ago.

Peter Maurice Waters, 72, was this week committed to stand trial after a four-day hearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court that was closed to the public while the alleged victims gave evidence.

He has pleaded not guilty to 20 charges of sexual offending against children, including multiple counts of indecent assault, one of carnal knowledge of a girl aged between 10 and 16 and one of committing an act of gross indecency in the presence of a child.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:13 AM

Pope letter details concern over Chile bishop

SANTIAGO (CHILE) AND VATICAN CITY
Associated Press via Washington Post

January 11, 2018

By Eva Vergara and Nicole Winfield

The Vatican was so concerned about the fallout from Chile’s most notorious pedophile priest that it planned to ask three Chilean bishops accused of knowing about his decades-long crimes to resign and take a year’s sabbatical — a revelation that comes just days before Pope Francis makes his first visit to Chile as pope.

A confidential 2015 letter from Francis, obtained by The Associated Press, details the behind-the-scenes maneuvering by the Vatican and Chile’s bishops to deal with the prelates connected to the disgraced Rev. Fernando Karadima. And it reveals the bishops’ concern about Francis naming a Karadima protege, Bishop Juan Barros, to the helm of the diocese of Osorno — an appointment that roiled the diocese, with hundreds of priests and lay Catholics staging protests against him.

Those protests are expected to greet Francis during his visit to Chile, which begins Monday.

Chile’s Catholic Church was thrown into crisis in 2010 when former parishioners publicly accused Karadima of sexually abusing them when they were minors, starting in the 1980s — accusations they had made years earlier to Chilean church leaders but that were ignored. The scandal grew as Chilean prosecutors and Vatican investigators took testimony from the victims, who accused Barros and other Karadima proteges of having witnessed the abuse and doing nothing about it.

In his Jan. 31, 2015, letter, written in response to Chilean church leaders’ complaints about the Barros appointment, Francis revealed for the first time that he knew that the issue was controversial and that his ambassador in Chile had tried to find a way to contain the damage well before the case made headlines.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 12:11 AM

January 11, 2018

Apuron's nephew says he was raped by the archbishop as a teen

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

January 11, 2018

By Haidee V Eugenio

Archbishop Anthony Apuron's nephew, Mark M. Apuron, Wednesday filed a lawsuit in federal court, accusing the archbishop of raping him when he was a teen, in 1989 or 1990.

It's the fifth lawsuit accusing Archbishop Apuron of sexually abusing or raping boys, and the first to accuse him of doing so after he had been elevated to the position of archbishop. The other four lawsuits allege Apuron abused Agat altar boys in the late 1970s, when he was parish priest in that village.

Apuron became Guam's archbishop in 1986, and has been the subject of a Vatican canonical trial since 2016. The trial, which will determine whether Apuron remains a member of the clergy, started after the former Agat altar boys publicly accused him of assaulting them.

A decision in the canonical trial was reached in October 2017, according to new Archbishop Michael Byrnes, who this week said the Vatican has not yet stated the outcome. As coadjutor archbishop for Guam, Byrnes has the right to succeed Apuron.

Mark Apuron's lawsuit states he was raped in the archbishop's bathroom at the chancery during a religious event in 1989 or 1990, when he was around the age of 15 or 16.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:36 AM

Divulgan sitio web con religiosos abusadores chilenos

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via El Nuevo Herald in Miami

[They release web site on Chilean clerical abusers]

January 10, 2018

By Eva Vergara

Una organización estadounidense presentó el miércoles un sitio web que incluye un listado de 78 religiosos católicos de Chile que han sido acusados y/o condenados por abusar sexualmente de menores de edad.

Anne Barrett Doyle, codirectora de BishopAccountability.org, describió el sitio en rueda de prensa como “el mayor archivo público disponible, sólo comparable con los archivos privados de la Iglesia”. Barret explicó también que la divulgación de la lista se realiza a sólo cinco días de la visita del Papa Francisco a Chile con la esperanza de que algunos de sus asesores “le haga ver que no ha cumplido con su política de tolerancia cero en este tema”.

La lista incluye sacerdotes, monjas y hermanos y los datos fueron recabados a partir de denuncias, incidentes difundidos por medios de comunicación y antecedentes judiciales. El criterio para incorporar a los abusadores fue que según los documentos consultados, las supuestas víctimas hayan sido menores de edad y los presuntos responsables hayan sido clérigos. Los casos enlistados ocurrirían después del año 2000 para que no hayan prescrito ante la justicia civil. Sin embargo, según Barret, hay casos que aún no han sido reportados.

AP solicitó una reacción a la Conferencia Episcopal chilena, pero de momento no ha recibido respuesta.

[Partial Google Translation: A US organization presented a website on Wednesday that includes a list of 78 Catholic religious in Chile who have been accused and / or convicted of sexually abusing minors.

Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, described the site at a press conference as "the largest public archive available, only comparable to the private archives of the Church." Barrett Doyle also explained that the disclosure of the list is made only five days after the visit of Pope Francis to Chile with the hope that some of his advisers "make him see that he has not complied with his zero tolerance policy on this issue" .

The list includes priests, nuns and brothers and the data was collected from complaints, incidents disseminated by the media and judicial records. The criterion for incorporating the abusers was that according to the documents consulted, the alleged victims were minors and the alleged perpetrators were clerics. The cases listed would occur after the year 2000 so that they have not been prescribed before the civil courts. However, according to Barrett Doyle, there are cases that have not yet been reported.

AP requested a reaction to the Chilean Episcopal Conference, but for now has not received a response.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:21 AM

Con crítica a Ezzati, ONG publicó lista de 80 religiosos acusados de abuso sexual en Chile

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Cooperativa

[With criticism of Ezzati, NGO published list of 80 religious accused of sexual abuse in Chile]

January 10, 2018

Destacando el rol del arzobispo Ricardo Ezzati en los casos de abuso sexual en la Iglesia Católica chilena, la organización internacional Bishop Accountability publicó una base con 80 sacerdotes, clérigos y una monja acusados de abuso sexual contra menores de edad en Chile.

Esta base de datos, que incluye casos desde el 2000, remarca que Ezzati es un líder incapaz de ponerle fin a los abusos y que, por el contrario, ha permitido que sacerdotes condenados vuelvan a sus funciones.

Respecto al arzobispo de Santiago, Anne Barrett-Doyle, fundadora de Bishop Accountability, manifestó que "su rol es clave (aunque) no puedo decir -porque no tengo toda la información- de que está activamente encubriendo los casos".

"Lo que sí sabemos que está haciendo es que está devolviendo a sacerdotes acusados de abuso al ejercicio y eso es algo que va dejando una clara evidencia. Si en Estados Unidos esto ocurriera, sería un escándalo criminal de proporciones", remarcó.

[Partial Google Translation: Highlighting the role of Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati in cases of sexual abuse in the Chilean Catholic Church, the international organization Bishop Accountability published a base with 80 priests, clerics and a nun accused of sexual abuse against minors in Chile.

This database, which includes cases since 2000, points out that Ezzati is a leader incapable of putting an end to abuses and, on the contrary, has allowed condemned priests to return to their functions.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:10 AM

Papa Francisco envía fuerte señal sobre abusos a menores

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

[Pope Francis sends strong signal about abuse of minors]

January 11, 2018

By A. Tapia and C. Mardones

El Vaticano anunció este miércoles la intervención del Sodalicio, un movimiento laico católico peruano que enfrenta una serie de denuncias de abusos.

En la recta final de la visita del Papa Francisco a Chile y Perú, el Vaticano dio este miércoles una contundente señal contra los abusos sexuales a menores en la Iglesia. En un mensaje que ha calado hondo en Perú, la Santa Sede comunicó que dispuso la intervención del grupo laico católico peruano Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, cuyo fundador enfrenta denuncias por parte de la justicia limeña por una serie de casos de abusos contra menores.

El anuncio se conoció justo una semana antes del arribo del Pontífice a Perú (18 al 21 de enero) y a días de su llegada a Chile (15 al 18 de enero). El Sodalicio es una sociedad de vida apostólica que depende de la Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada y las Sociedades de Vida Apostólica del Vaticano. En su momento se convirtió en la primera sociedad de vida apostólica laica en ser reconocida por el derecho pontificio.

El Vaticano informó que el comisario apostólico será el obispo de Jericó (Colombia), Noel Antonio Londoño. Los principales cuestionamientos tienen que ver con el rol que tuvo al interior de la institución el fundador del Sodalicio, Luis Fernando Figari, de 70 años y quien actualmente vive confinado en Roma.

[Partial Google Translation: The scandal in Peru exploded thanks to the publication, in October 2015, of the book Half monks, half soldiers, of journalists Pedro Salinas and Paola Ugaz. This text, from the Planeta publishing house, gathers testimonies from 30 former Sodalicio members who denounced having been victims of physical, sexual and psychological abuse carried out by Figari and other leaders of the institution. "We started to investigate in December 2010 and now there are more than 500 cases," Ugaz told La Tercera.

After the publication of the book, a success of sales in Peru, Sodalicio lamented "the actions and omissions committed by community members" and "we ask for forgiveness (to the victims) and we offer our willingness to listen and help."

But Figari has never responded for what is incriminated. Already in the same 2015 the Vatican ordered an investigation on Sodalicio, that was in charge of the American cardinal Joseph Tobin. However, the intervention that was known today means, according to analysts, that the Holy See estimates that the movement has been unable to reform itself.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:48 AM

Comunicado

LIMA (PERU)
Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana

January 10, 2018

En referencia al nombramiento de un Comisario Apostólico para el Sodalicio comunicamos lo siguiente:

1) Este miércoles 10 de enero hemos recibido la noticia del nombramiento que la Santa Sede ha hecho de Mons. Noel Antonio Londoño Buitrago, C.Ss.R., Obispo de Jericó en el departamento de Antioquia (Colombia) como Comisario Apostólico de nuestra Sociedad.

2) Como Comisario Apostólico, Mons. Londoño podrá intervenir directamente en el gobierno de nuestra Sociedad, también en las cuestiones económicas y los demás asuntos de la marcha habitual del Sodalicio.

3) El Cardenal Joseph Tobin seguirá ejerciendo la función de Delegado ad nutum de la Congregación. Como hemos hecho hasta ahora con el Cardenal Joseph Tobin desde su nombramiento como Delegado para Sodalicio en mayo de 2016, colaboraremos en todo con Mons. Londoño para que pueda ejercer sus funciones según lo dispuesto por la Santa Sede.

4) Agradecemos al Papa Francisco y a la Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada y las Sociedades de Vida Apostólica que sigan con preocupación la vida de nuestra comunidad y reiteramos nuestra disposición para acoger todo lo que disponga para la mejor marcha de nuestra Sociedad. Reafirmamos una vez más nuestra absoluta obediencia al Santo Padre y a la Santa Madre Iglesia.

[Partial Google Translation: We thank Pope Francis and the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life for following the life of our community with concern and we reiterate our willingness to accept all that is available for the better progress of our Society. We reaffirm once again our absolute obedience to the Holy Father and the Holy Mother Church.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:25 AM

Pope Tabs Colombian Bishop to Oversee Lay Catholic Society Amid Ongoing Crisis

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency via National Catholic Register

January 10, 2018

By Elise Harris

Colombian Bishop Noel Londoño Buitrago has been appointed papal commissioner for the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, while it deals with revelations that its founder was a serial abuser.

The Vatican announced Wednesday that Colombian Bishop Noel Londoño Buitrago has been appointed papal commissioner for the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, a Catholic society of apostolic life.

Bishop Londoño, of the Diocese of Jericó, will oversee the community as it continues a process of reform, following revelations that its founder, Luis Fernando Figari, committed serial acts of abuse while leading the community. Several former leaders of the community have also faced related allegations.

Bishop Londoño’s appointment was announced in a Jan. 10 communique from the Vatican, which stated that he would carry out his role alongside Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, who has served as papal delegate overseeing the SCV’s reform process since May 2016.

Cardinal Tobin will continue to be the group’s liaison with the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and will focus primarily on reforming economic matters. In his role as Commissioner, Bishop Londoño will oversee the leadership of order as it continues to reform their governing policies and formation procedures.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:22 AM

Papa Francisco ordena intervenir el Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, institución controladora de la U. Gabriela Mistral

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
El Monstrador

[Pope Francis orders intervention in the Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, the controlling institution of the Gabriela Mistral University in Santiago]

January 11, 2018

By Camila Bustamente

En diciembre, la persecutora María León Pizarro pidió nueve meses de prisión preventiva contra Luis Figari, investigado por los presuntos delitos de asociación ilícita para delinquir y lesiones graves, en relación con un caso de abusos sexuales.

A menos de una semana del viaje apostólico del Papa Francisco a Chile y Perú, el Vaticano ordenó intervenir el Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana (también conocido por su nombre en latín Sodalitium Christianae Vítae, SCV), luego de varios años de acusaciones de abuso sexual, maltrato físico y psicológico, contra su fundador, Luis Fernando Figari, y otros integrantes de la entidad religiosa.

Cabe recordar que en Chile dicha institución religiosa es dueña de la Universidad Gabriela Mistral, el Saint Joseph School en Huechuraba, una comunidad en el exclusivo sector de Los Trapenses y está a cargo de la Parroquia “Madre de los Apóstoles” en Maipú. Los sodalicios llegaron al país en 1999, invitados por el entonces arzobispo de Santiago, Francisco Javier Errázuriz.

La información se dio a conocer este miércoles 10 de enero, a través de un comunicado de la Oficina de Prensa del Vaticano. El decreto indica que la Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada y las Sociedades de Vida Apostólica, instancia formal de la que depende el SCV, nombró como comisario apostólico al obispo colombiano Noel Antonio Londoño Buitrago.

[Google Translation: Pope Francis orders to intervene the Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, the controlling institution of the U. Gabriela Mistral

In December, the persecutor María León Pizarro requested nine months of preventive detention against Luis Figari, investigated for the alleged crimes of conspiracy to commit crimes and serious injuries, in relation to a case of sexual abuse.

Less than a week after Pope Francis's apostolic trip to Chile and Peru, the Vatican ordered the intervention of the Sodality of Christian Life (also known by its Latin name Sodalitium Christianae Vítae, SCV), after several years of accusations of sexual abuse, physical and psychological abuse, against its founder, Luis Fernando Figari, and other members of the religious entity.

It is worth remembering that in Chile this religious institution owns the Gabriela Mistral University, the Saint Joseph School in Huechuraba, a community in the exclusive Los Trapenses sector and is in charge of the Parish "Mother of the Apostles" in Maipú. The sodalicios arrived in the country in 1999, invited by the then archbishop of Santiago, Francisco Javier Errázuriz.

The information was released on Wednesday, January 10, through a statement from the Vatican Press Office. The decree indicates that the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, the formal instance on which the SCV depends, appointed as its apostolic commissioner the Colombian bishop Noel Antonio Londoño Buitrago.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:53 AM

Communiqué of the Press Office of the Holy See

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Press Office

January 10, 2018

La Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada y las Sociedades de Vida Apostólica ha promulgado hoy, miércoles 10 de enero de 2018, el Decreto en el que dispone el Comisariamento de la Sociedad de vida apostólica Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana) y nombra Comisario Apostólico de la citada Sociedad a Su Excelencia Mons. Noel Antonio Londoño Buitrago, C.Ss.R., Obispo de Jericó (Antioquía), Colombia.

El Cardenal Joseph William Tobin, C.Ss.R., continuará siendo referente de la Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada y las Sociedades de Vida Apostólica en cuanto Delegado ad nutum en relación con Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, particularmente para las cuestiones de índole económica.

El Santo Padre Francisco ha seguido con preocupación todas las informaciones que, desde hace varios años, han ido llegando a la Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada y las Sociedades de Vida Apostólica sobre la situación del Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana. El Papa se ha mostrado especialmente atento a la notable gravedad de las informaciones acerca del régimen interno, la formación y la gestión económica-financiera, motivo por el cual ha pedido con insistencia al Dicasterio una particular atención. A esto se han sumado últimamente las graves medidas adoptadas por la autoridad judicial peruana con respecto al Sr. Luis Fernando Figari. Después de un profundo análisis de toda la documentación, el Dicasterio ha promulgado el Decreto de Comisariamento.

[Google Translation: Communiqué of the Press Office of the Holy See, 10.01.2018

The Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life has promulgated today, Wednesday, January 10, 2018, the Decree in which the Commissariat of the Society of Apostolic Life Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (Sodality of Christian Life) and appoints Apostolic Commissioner of the aforementioned Society to His Excellency Mons. Noel Antonio Londoño Buitrago, C.Ss.R., Bishop of Jericó (Antioquia), Colombia.

Cardinal Joseph William Tobin, C.Ss.R., will continue to be a reference of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life as Delegate ad nutum in relation to Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, particularly for economic issues .

The Holy Father Francis has followed with concern all the information that, for several years, has been reaching the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life on the situation of the Sodality of Christian Life. The Pope has been especially attentive to the remarkable seriousness of the information about the internal regime, training and economic-financial management, which is why he has insistently asked the Dicastery for particular attention. To this have been added recently the serious measures adopted by the Peruvian judicial authority with respect to Mr. Luis Fernando Figari. After a thorough analysis of all the documentation, the Dicastery has promulgated the Comisariamento Decree.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:53 AM

Amid abuse allegations, Vatican names trustee to lead Sodalitium

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service via The Pilot

January 10, 2017

By Cindy Wooden

Saying Pope Francis is following the situation with concern, the Vatican named a Colombian bishop to be the trustee of the scandal-plagued Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, a Catholic movement based in Peru.

The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life appointed Bishop Noel Londono Buitrago of Jerico, Colombia, trustee of the group, the Vatican press office announced Jan. 10.

Pope Francis, the statement said, "has followed with concern all the information that for years has arrived at the congregation" about the movement founded by Luis Fernando Figari. In 2017, Sodalitium leaders released a report acknowledging that Figari sexually, physically and psychologically abused minors, teen and young adult members of the movement.

Pope Francis "insistently requested" the congregation to act, the statement said, adding that he had been "particularly attentive to the gravity of the information regarding the (movement's) internal regime, the formation" process members went through and the financial operations of the group.

Those concerns, along with a Peruvian court's request that Figari be jailed pending a criminal investigation into allegations of sexual and psychological abuse, led to the congregation's decision to name a trustee to assume control of the movement, the statement said. Figari apparently is living in Rome; in the first weeks of 2017, the Vatican informed Sodalitium leaders that Figari had been ordered to remain in Rome and not have any contact with the organization or give interviews to the media.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:38 AM

Ahead of trip, pope orders takeover of Catholic group in Peru

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

January 10, 2018

By Philip Pullella

[Note: See also Report on Abuses and Response in the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, February 10, 2017).

Pope Francis has ordered the Vatican takeover of an elite Catholic society in Peru whose founder is accused of sexually and physically abusing children and former members of the group.

The move, announced by the Vatican on Wednesday, is the latest in a saga that has damaged the reputation of the Catholic Church in Peru and comes a week before Francis is set to make his first visit as pope to that country and Chile.

Victims of sexual abuse say he has not done enough to put a stop to it. The credibility of a commission he formed in 2014 has been severely damaged by the defections of senior members who accused the Vatican of dragging its feet.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:31 AM

El Vaticano anunció la intervención del grupo católico en Perú

CARACAS (VENEZUELA)
El Universal

January 11, 2018

[Note: See also a recent report on SVC in English and Spanish.]

[Excerpt in corrected Google translation: The Vatican announced the intervention of the Catholic group in Peru

On the other hand, priests, deacons and a nun comprise a list of nearly 80 religious accused of sexually abusing minors in Chile since 2000, according to a database released Wednesday in Santiago by the American NGO Bishop Accountability.

One week before Pope Francis arrived in Peru, the Vatican announced on Wednesday that it will intervene in the Peruvian ultraconservative Catholic group Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana (SVC), whose leaders are accused of sexual abuse and of various kinds.]

Por otra parte, sacerdotes, diáconos y una monja completan una lista de casi 80 religiosos acusados de abusar sexualmente de menores en Chile desde el año 2000, según una base de datos difundida este miércoles en Santiago por la ONG estadounidense Bishop Accountability.

Vaticano/Lima. - A una semana de la llegada al Perú del papa Francisco, el Vaticano anunció el miércoles que intervendrá al grupo católico ultraconservador peruano Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana (SVC), a cuyos líderes se acusa de abusos sexuales y de diverso tipo.

"Francisco ha seguido con preocupación todas las informaciones que, desde hace varios años, han ido llegando sobre la situación", afirma el comunicado mediante el cual el Vaticano anunció la intervención, que incluye la salida del actual jefe del SVC, Alessandro Morini, indicó DPA.

El académico peruano Wilfredo Ardito, experto en temas de la Iglesia, calificó el anuncio como "excelente noticia", mientras que Paola Ugaz, coautora del libro que develó los secretos, afirmó que es "un buen día para las víctimas y el periodismo de investigación".

El tema SVC es, en opinión de expertos, una piedra en el zapato para Francisco en la visita de cuatro días que hará al Perú, pues el Vaticano ha protegido al fundador del grupo, Luis Fernando Figari, en quien se concentran la mayoría de denuncias.

El periodista José Enrique Escardó, una de las víctimas que rompieron el silencio, no se mostró convencido con el anuncio: "(Francisco) hace la finta (teatro) para que nadie diga que no hizo nada", señaló.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:04 AM

Investigadora norteamericana destroza al clero católico chileno: “Tratan bien a abusadores, pero son muy duros con víctimas”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
El Ciudadano

January 10, 2018

[Excerpt in corrected Google translate: During the morning of this Wednesday, Anne Barrett-Doyle, an American who has been investigating cases of abuses in the Catholic Church with the organization BishopAccountability.org for 15 years, offered a powerful press conference in our country. In the Foundation for Trust - created by James Hamilton, Juan Carlos Cruz and José Andrés Murillo, three of the young people sexually abused by priest Fernando Karadima - she released the first detailed public file on sexual abuse imputed to the clergy in Chile .

Specifically, the document provides extensive summaries and hundreds of electronic sources that detail the cases of about 80 priests, deacons, religious brothers and a nun, accused of sexual abuse.

* * *

Anne Barrett-Doyle took the time to go over each of the most important cases of authorities of the local Catholic Church who have turned a deaf ear to the allegations of sexual abuse inside the institution.

It is in this context that, among others, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati appeared. He said that he has allowed several religious accused of sexual abuse to return to work, as happened for example with Cristián Precht. "The investigation into Precht yielded at least 20 victims, between 15 and 35 years old, who had been abused by this priest, however, Cardinal Ezzati believes that after 5 years he can return to say Masses and be a priest," the North American researcher observed.]

"El Papa debería remover a estas personas de sus cargos", demandó Anne Barrett-Doyle, co-directora de BishopAccountability.org, organización que este miércoles dio a conocer un archivo con los nombres de cerca de 80 religiosos acusados de abuso sexual.]

Durante la mañana de este miércoles, Anne Barrett-Doyle, estadounidense que lleva 15 años investigado junto a la organización BishopAccountability.org casos de abusos en la Iglesia Católica, ofreció una potente conferencia en nuestro país. En la Fundación para la Confianza –creada por James Hamilton, Juan Carlos Cruz y José Andrés Murillo, tres de los jóvenes abusados sexualmente por el sacerdote Fernando Karadima-, dio a conocer el primer archivo público detallado sobre los abusos sexuales imputados al clero en Chile.

Específicamente, el documento proporciona resúmenes extensos y cientos de fuentes electrónicas que detallan los casos de cerca de 80 sacerdotes, diáconos, hermanos religiosos y una monja, acusados de abuso sexual. Todas denuncias reportadas a la autoridad “en periodos absolutamente razonables”, según apuntó Barrett-Doyle, y que “demuestran qué tantas cosas se mantienen ocultas, escondidas”.

Una lista que, postula la investigadora, es solo una fracción de la que debiera ser “si los obispos y las autoridades eclesiásticas chilenas estuvieran obligadas a reportar los delitos que ocurren dentro de la Iglesia”. Algo que se suma a la necesidad de que el sistema legal le dé más tiempo y espacio a las víctimas para construir casos civiles y criminales, y que los líderes de la institución religiosa sean investigados por fiscales y autoridades de Estado.

Junto a ello sumó -refiriéndose al rol del Vaticano- que “la falta de presión externa le ha permitido a la Iglesia Católica chilena operar en la impunidad”.

Ezzati y los obispos

Anne Barrett-Doyle se dio el tiempo de ir detallando cada uno de los casos más importantes de autoridades de la Iglesia Católica local que han hecho oídos sordos a las denuncias de abusos sexuales al interior de la institución.

Es en ese contexto que, entre otros, apareció el Cardenal Ricardo Ezzati. Sobre él señaló que ha permitido que varios religiosos acusados de abuso sexual vuelvan a ejercer su labor, como lo ocurrido por ejemplo con Cristián Precht. “La investigación sobre Precht arrojó al menos 20 víctimas, entre 15 y 35 años, que habían sido abusados por este sacerdote, sin embargo, el Cardenal Ezzati opina que luego de 5 años puede volver a practicar misas y ser sacerdote”, criticó la investigadora norteamericana.

“Ezzati es el hombre más poderoso dentro de la Iglesia Católica chilena. Si él como líder no le da importancia a lo de ‘cero tolerancia’, ¿qué podemos esperar para los otros dentro de la Iglesia chilena?”, cuestionó Barrett-Doyle.

En ese mismo contexto, Anne relató que cuando realizaban la investigación que dieron a conocer esta jornada, estaban “atónitos” con el comportamiento de los obispos chilenos. “Tratan bien a los abusadores, pero son muy duros con las víctimas”, sostuvo. Junto a ello, señaló que éstos “se muestran muy orgullosos de su protocolo contra el abuso publicado en 2015, pero sus omisiones son notables: no hace mención a ‘cero tolerancia’ en ninguna parte”, así como tampoco -agregó- se habla de reparación, a diferencia de lo que ocurre en países como Estados Unidos.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:38 AM

January 10, 2018

Pope Francis to face protests in Chile over bishop appointment

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Reuters

January 10, 2018

By Dave Sherwood

Chileans protesting Pope Francis’s 2015 appointment of a Roman Catholic bishop accused of protecting an alleged pedophile threaten to cast a shadow over the pontiff’s visit to South America next week.

Parishioners in Osorno, a small city 800 kilometers (497 miles) south of the Chilean capital, say Vatican representatives denied their requests to meet with Francis. They plan to protest every day of the Pope’s Jan. 15 - 18 stay in Chile.

Pope Francis, who hails from neighboring Argentina and once briefly lived in Chile, has defended Osorno Bishop Juan Barros and says allegations that he covered up abuses by one of Chile’s most notorious sexual predators were unfounded.

Planned demonstrations in Chile, a staunchly Catholic country, have rekindled accusations Francis has not done enough to root out sexual abuse in the Church, especially holding bishops accountable for covering up or mishandling sexual abuse.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:38 PM

ONG de EEUU lanzó listado con más de 80 casos de clérigos involucrados en abusos en Chile

CONCEPCIÓN (CHILE)
Bio Bio Chile

January 10, 2018

By Guido Focacci and Aristeo Andrés

Con el objetivo de llamar al papa Francisco a cumplir su compromiso de “tolerancia cero” en casos de abuso sexual en acciones concretas contra sus autores, la agrupación Bishop Accountability lanzó un sitio con 80 religiosos chilenos involucrados, acusando especialmente al cardenal Ricardo Ezzati de encubrimiento.

La agrupación, liderada por Anne Barrett-Doyle, indicó que este encubrimiento en ninguna parte del mundo es tan potente como en Chile y apuntó a Ezzati, como principal autoridad católica del país, a tomar medidas en estos casos.

La investigadora recalcó los casos de los rel//rbb.cl/j16f Publicado por igiosos Christian Precht, Julio Dutilh y Juan Barros como hechos visibles, donde se ha permitido continuar con el sacerdocio pese a ser denunciados y hasta condenados por El Vaticano.

El director ejecutivo de la Fundación para la Confianza, José Murillo, aseguró que este mensaje de la agrupación es para que el Papa cumpla con su compromiso de tolerancia cero para no tener casos impunes.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:31 PM

ONG estadounidense revela casos de abuso sexual por parte de sacerdotes chilenos

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Agence France Presse via 24 Horas

January 10, 2018

El sitio reveló que casi ochenta sacerdotes, diáconos y una monja de nacionalidad chilena abusaron de menores de edad.

Sacerdotes, diáconos y una monja chilenos completan una lista de casi ochenta religiosos acusados desde el año 2000 de abusar sexualmente de menores en Chile, según una base de datos difundida este miércoles en Santiago por la ONG estadounidense Bishop Accountability.

"Hoy estamos presentando una base de datos de casi 80 clérigos en Chile, sacerdotes, monjes y una monja que han sido acusados de abusar sexualmente de niños", denunció Ann Barrett-Doyle, codirectora de la ONG que desde 2003 se dedica a publicar los archivos de abusadores dentro de la Iglesia católica, en una rueda de prensa en Santiago.

A cinco días de la llegada del papa Francisco a Chile, la organización denunció la falta de compromiso de los jerarcas católicos, en especial los chilenos, para erradicar la pederastia en la iglesia.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:21 PM

Organización lanza sitio con casos de sacerdotes chilenos acusados de abuso sexual

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
El Dínamo

January 10, 2018

La organización Bishop Accountability, radicada en Estados Unidos, se encarga de proporcionar información a través de Internet acerca de los distintos casos de sacerdotes acusados y condenados por abuso sexual, así como también a religiosos que han actuado como encubridores del delito.

A menos de una semana de la llegada del Papa a Chile, la entidad lanzó en su sitio información sobre los casos chilenos. En total se registraron 70, que agrupa a sacerdotes, diáconos, hermanos religiosos y una monja. Cada nombre está acompañado de un resumen junto con información al lugar que pertenecen y enlaces de noticias al respecto.

Anne Barrett-Doyle, representante de Bishop Accountability, señaló que este lanzamiento se hizo previo a la visita de Francisco I “con la esperanza de que alguno de sus asistentes le haga ver que no ha cumplido con su promesa de tolerancia cero”.

La organización busca que el Papa remueva al cardenal Ricardo Ezatti y a otros obispos que -según acusa Bishop Accountability- habrían encubiertos otros casos como Horacio Valenzuela (Talca) y Cristian Contreras (San Felipe). “El Papa dice que llora por las víctimas. Queremos que transforme las lágrimas en acciones”, indicó.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:17 PM

Ad Portas de Visita Papal: Lanzan Nómina de Religiosos Acusados de Abusos en Chile

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Nacion

January 10, 2018

By Giselle Saure

La nómina que incluye identidades, cargos, fotografías y la descripción de los actos cometidos contra sus víctimas fue elaborada por la organización internacional que se dedica a indagar este tema Bishop Accountability.

Fernando Karadima, Andrés Aguirre alias el cura “Tato”, Cristián Precht y John O´Reilly, son los rostros más conocidos en la lista de 78 religiosos que aparecen en el listado de miembros de la iglesia católica chilena denunciados por abusos sexuales en los últimos 15 años desde que se destaparon estos delitos y que han mermado el respeto y la credibilidad en la institución en el país.

La nómina elaborada por el grupo internacional Bishop Accountability, con sede en Estados Unidos, que se dedica a investigar estos delitos cometidos por integrantes de la iglesia católica, es el primer banco de datos donde aparecen con fotografías, nombres y congregaciones de los miembros de la institución que han sido denunciados por estos casos, incluidos cuatro obispos.

Este nuevo recurso electrónico fue presentado por Anne Barrett-Doyle, investigadora católica y fundadora de la entidad que fue clave para las indagatorias realizadas por el Boston Globe, sobre abusos sexuales en esa ciudad de Estados Unidos.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 3:16 PM

Organización que investiga abusos sexuales en la Iglesia critica a Ezzati por minimizar denuncias

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

January 10, 2018

By Claudia Soto

Anne Barrett-Doyle, representante del grupo internacional Bishop Accountability, aseguró que sería un "gran gesto" del Papa Francisco que removiera al arzobispo de Santiago y a otros obispos como Cristián Contreras Molina y Horacio Valenzuela, por no haber intervenido adecuadamente en estos casos. En cuanto al Pontífice, señaló que "no ha cumplido con su promesa de tolerancia cero" contra los abusos.

La investigadora Anne Barrett-Doyle, mostrando una fotografía del cardenal Ezzati.
El grupo Bishop Accountability, con sede en Estados Unidos y representado por Anne Barrett-Doyle, lanzó este miércoles el primer banco de datos publicado en Internet sobre los clérigos chilenos que han sido denunciados por abuso sexual de menores. Este nuevo recurso electrónico proporciona detalles de los casos de 79 sacerdotes, diáconos, hermanos religiosos y una monja en nuestro país, que han sido condenados por la justicia. Sin embargo, se indica que de acuerdo a lo estudiado, deben hacer cientos de casos que aún se mantienen ocultos.

Barrett-Doyle explicó que este lanzamiento se hizo previo a la visita del Papa Francisco “con la esperanza de que alguno de sus asistentes le haga ver que no ha cumplido con su promesa de tolerancia cero” contra los abusos.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:45 PM

Las 80 denuncias por abuso sexual que ha enfrentado la Iglesia en Chile

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

January 9, 2017

By Sebastián Labrín and Juan Pablo Sallaberry

[Note: Includes a table of accused, including priests accused of sexual misconduct with adults. See also BishopAccountability.org's database, focused on clerics who are accused of offending against minors.]

En los últimos 15 años, desde el caso de Andrés Aguirre, el “cura Tato”, 80 sacerdotes y religiosos católicos han sido acusados de delitos de connotación sexual. De ese total, 45 fueron condenados por la justicia civil o canónica, y de ellos, 34 tienen como víctimas a menores de edad. La situación más reciente involucra a la congregación marista.

La investigación sobre abusos cometidos por miembros de la Congregación de los Hermanos Maristas en colegios chilenos sigue en escalada, luego de que ayer el diario catalán El Periódico llevara en su portada un reportaje sobre cómo la orden religiosa silenciaba las denuncias.

La Fiscalía Sur maneja antecedentes sobre los presuntos delitos sexuales cometidos por seis maristas -dos de ellos ya fallecidos-, investigación que se inició a partir de una denuncia contra Abel Pérez Ruiz, acusado de abusar de 14 menores, 10 del Instituto Alonso de Ercilla y otros cuatro del Colegio Marcelino Champagnat, en La Pintana.

¿Cuántos sacerdotes y religiosos católicos están vinculados a casos de abusos sexuales en Chile? La nómina es mantenida en privado por la Iglesia. El 2011, tras las denuncias de abusos sexuales contra el sacerdote Fernando Karadima, el episcopado decidió subir a su página web un listado con los condenados por este tipo de delitos, que entonces llegaba a 18 presbíteros sancionados por la justicia civil o la canónica. Sin embargo, el 2016 se retiró la lista de nombres cuando los casos sumaban 32.

La ONG norteamericana Bishop Accountability, entidad que recopila casos de abusos sexuales cometidos por sacerdotes en todo el mundo, ha estado trabajando en un listado de religiosos chilenos que han enfrentado denuncias de este tipo. Anne Barrett Doyle, directora de la organización, presentará el documento en una conferencia de prensa este miércoles.

Una investigación de La Tercera compiló toda la información oficial publicada por la Iglesia sobre denuncias presentadas desde 2002 (año en que se destapó el caso de Andrés Aguirre, el “cura Tato”); hizo una completa revisión de los archivos de prensa; consultó al Ministerio Público sobre el estado de las causas, y examinó medios regionales a lo largo de todo Chile para incluir casos locales que jamás fueron conocidos en Santiago.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:35 PM

George Pell's lawyers given ABC interviews in relation to child sexual abuse allegations

AUSTRALIA
Australian Associated Press

January 10, 2018

Cardinal’s lawyers tell court hard drive containing footage and transcripts was handed over in response to subpoena

Cardinal George Pell’s lawyers will examine interview footage from the ABC as Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic fights multiple historical sex offence charges in Victoria.

Pell, who denies the allegations, is the most senior Catholic cleric to be charged with sex offences.

His lawyers returned to Melbourne magistrates court on Wednesday for an administrative update about the subpoenas they sent to the ABC and investigative journalist Louise Milligan, who wrote the book Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell.

In December the ABC and Milligan agreed to hand over some of the material sought by Pell’s lawyers.

“There’s been production to the registry of a hard drive containing footage and transcripts,” defence barrister Ruth Shann told the court on Wednesday.

It is understood the footage contains unedited interviews between Milligan and some of the complainants who have accused Pell of historical sex offences.

Pell was not required to attend court on Wednesday.

The former Sydney and Melbourne archbishop and Ballarat priest has taken leave from his position as Vatican treasurer to defend himself.

He will face a four-week pretrial committal hearing in March to determine if he should stand trial.

Some of the hearing will be closed to the public when the complainants give evidence about the alleged sexual offences.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:08 PM

Church: Guam archbishop faces new sexual assault allegation

HAGATNA (GUAM)
Associated Press

January 9, 2018

HAGATNA, Guam – Catholic church officials in Guam say they have notified the Vatican of a new sexual abuse allegation against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

According to the Archdiocese of Agana, a relative of Apuron claimed to local media he was abused by the archbishop in 1990.

Apuron already faces multiple allegations of sexual abuse of altar boys in the 1970s.

He has denied those claims and has not been criminally charged. His lawyer Jacqueline Terlaje didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

The allegations against Apuron prompted a Vatican tribunal. Archbishop Michael Byrnes says he was informed by Vatican officials late last year that a verdict has been reached, but it has not yet been released.

The Vatican sent Byrnes to Guam to replace Apuron on an administrative basis.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:06 PM

Vatican takes over Peru-based movement on eve of pope's trip

VATICAN CITY
Tampa Bay Times

January 10, 2018

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican on Wednesday took over a Peru-based Catholic movement whose founder was accused of sexual and psychological abuse, just days before Pope Francis starts a trip to Chile and Peru where the sexual abuse scandal is expected to play out on the sidelines.

A Vatican statement said the congregation for religious orders had issued a decree naming a commissioner to take over the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, a conservative movement that has some 20,000 members and chapters throughout South America and the U.S.

The move came just weeks after Peruvian prosecutors announced they were seeking the arrest of Sodalitium's founder, Luis Figari.

A journalist and former member of the society began publicly accusing Figari of abuse in 2010. While Figari had never been charged, many of the allegations were confirmed by a Vatican inquiry. Figari was ordered to cut contact with members of the society last year, and has been living in Rome.

He has never provided concrete responses to the accusations. His Peru-based lawyer, Armando Lengua, has said he hasn't been in contact with Figari, saying he is unreachable in the Sodalitium prayer and retreat house in Rome.

Some of Sodalitium's victims had denounced the Vatican's handling of the case, saying in 2017 that the six-year delay in taking any action, and subsequently allowing Figari to live in retirement in Rome, was anything but satisfactory.

In the statement, the Vatican said Francis had followed the Sodalitium saga for years, had asked that the congregation pay particular attention to it and was "particularly concerned about the seriousness of information about the internal regime, the training and financial management."

The Vatican said the congregation had decided on the "commissioning" of the society after the recent moves by Peruvian prosecutors to arrest Figari and a "profound analysis of all the documentation."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:04 PM

Vatican takes over scandal-hit Catholic society on eve of pope's trip to Peru

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

January 10, 2018

- Peruvian founder of Sodalitium Christianae Vitae accused of sexual abuse
- Victims denounce Vatican’s handling and protests likely during pontiff’s visit

The Vatican has taken over a Peru-based Catholic movement whose founder was accused of sexual and psychological abuse, just days before Pope Francis starts a trip to Chile and Peru where the sexual abuse scandal is expected to play out on the sidelines.

A Vatican statement said the congregation for religious orders had issued a decree naming a commissioner to take over the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, a conservative movement that has chapters and about 20,000 members throughout South America and the US.

The move came just weeks after Peruvian prosecutors announced they were seeking the arrest of Sodalitium’s founder, Luis Figari.

While Figari had never been charged, many of the allegations were confirmed by a Vatican inquiry. He was ordered to cut contact with members of the society, and has been living in Rome.

In the statement, the Vatican said Francis had followed the Sodalitium scandal for years, had asked that the congregation pay particular attention to it and was “particularly concerned about the seriousness of information about the internal regime, the training and financial management.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:02 PM

Top-Tier Gymnast Maggie Nichols Says Larry Nassar Sexually Abused Her, Too

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

January 9, 2018

By Alanna Vagianos

Nichols wrote in a statement that she was the first to alert USA Gymnastics of Nassar’s abuse in 2015.

Gymnast Maggie Nichols alleged Tuesday that she was among the young women sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar.

In a statement released by Nichols’ attorney, the former elite gymnast alleged that Nassar sexually abused her “numerous times,” starting when she was 15 years old.

“Recently, three of my friends and former National Team members who medaled at the 2012 Olympics have bravely stepped forward to proclaim they were sexually assaulted by USA Gymnastics Team physician Dr. Larry Nassar,” Nichols said in the statement, obtained by Time magazine. “Today I join them.”

Nichols said she was the first victim to alert USA Gymnastics of Nassar’s abuse in 2015, which subsequently led to his arrest in 2016. She wrote that she was discussing Nassar’s treatment with a teammate during practice one day when a coach overheard.

“I had never told my coach about these treatments,” Nichols said. “After hearing our conversation she asked me more questions about it and said it doesn’t seem right ... so she did the right thing and reported this abuse to the USA Gymnastics staff.”

Nassar has been accused of serial sexual abuse by over 125 young women, including elite gymnasts Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney. All of the victims claim that Nassar abused them during routine medical exams; some say they were as young as 12 at the time of the alleged abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:59 PM

Metro East priest facing more than 15 child pornography charges

MASCOUTAH (IL)
KMOV

January 8, 2018

An associate Catholic priest from a church in Mascoutah, Illinois is facing multiple charges of possessing and disseminating child pornography.

Belleville police arrested Rev. Gerald Hechenberger, the associate pastor at Holy Childhood Church and School, Monday after reportedly finding him in possession of multiple pornographic images and videos of children under the age of 13.

The officers were turned onto the 54-year-old Hechenberger from an anonymous tip from the Attorney General's ICAC Task Force indicating he was distributing child pornography.

Detectives surveilled Hechenberger online and in person and were eventually granted a warrant to search the rectory at Holy Childhood Catholic Church Monday.

Officers reportedly found drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine along with the images and videos of children.

"There is a rotten apple in every bunch and that should not discredit the church of anyone else because of one person making a mistake," said Andrea Sisson, a lifelong Mascoutah resident. "It doesn't deter me from knowing anyone from there or them doing good in the community. Like I said, one man can't ruin or bring a community down."

Hechenberger faces eight counts of disseminating child pornography in which the victim is less than 13 years old, seven counts of possession of child pornography, one count of possessing child pornography on video and one count of possessing methamphetamine.

He had been at the parish for six years. Previously, he had let it be known he was suffering from depression. At this time there are no known complaints lodged against him in the past. None of the attendees at Tuesday night's service agreed to speak about the situation.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:58 PM

Clergy abuse victims haunted by sex harassment news

UNITED STATES
Associated Press

January 9, 2018

When stories of sexual misconduct by powerful men began to fill the news during the fall, Manny Vega immediately flashed back to his childhood.

He saw strong similarities between the recent allegations against producers and politicians and his own abuse as a child by his parish priest.

“The parallels are in the power dynamics,” said Vega, a former police officer and decorated Marine who lives in Oxnard, California. “Whether you’re the leader of a church or the leader of a film studio, you’re going to be someone people look up to and someone people go to for guidance. It puts the victim at a horrible disadvantage.”

While there are key differences, the sexual harassment detailed in today’s headlines shares the same well-worn themes that made it so hard for Vega and hundreds of other clergy abuse victims to come forward more than a decade ago: fear of retribution and disbelief, impossible power dynamics and confidential settlements that bury complaints.

Powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is under investigation for sexual assault in four cities, and has been accused of everything from unwanted come-ons to groping by dozens of women, including A-list actresses. He has apologized for his behavior with women but denied having nonconsensual sex. He has not been charged with a crime.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:56 PM

Child care home abuse denial ‘should be made a crime’

SCOTLAND
The Evening Express

January 10, 2018

Denying the “orchestrated” abuse which took place in child care homes across Scotland should be a crime, an inquiry has heard.

A former resident of Smyllum Park in Lanark made the claim before the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

He described his time at the orphanage as a “Holocaust of developmental trauma” and said Scotland has to “face up” to its past.

The witness, who lived in the Catholic-run home between 1961 and 1965, said his head had been left “spinning” after reading an article suggesting abuse claims about such places were exaggerated.

He added: “What was happening there was a crime against humanity. It was orchestrated.

“It went on for years. I think it was a Holocaust of developmental trauma, inflicted upon thousands of children over decades.

“In Germany it’s a crime to deny the Holocaust and I would like it to be a crime for academics to deny these years and years of abuse.

“Scotland has to face up to this – if you don’t know your own country’s history, you don’t know anything.”

Now in his sixties, he said he still has a recurring nightmare about his time there and wakes up screaming.

According to him, the nuns were “quick to aggression” and “quick to anger”, describing constant physical and mental abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:55 PM

New Whistleblower Site FaithLeaks Releases Confidential Documents About Child Sexual Abuse in Jehovah’s Witnesses Community

UNITED STATES
Gizmodo

January 10, 2018

By Jennings Brown

The founders of MormonLeaks, a transparency organization that has released hundreds of controversial documents related to inner-workings of the Mormon Church, recently launched FaithLeaks, an ambitious and far-reaching project that aims to expose corruption and abuse across other religious organizations. Today, the new group has published dozens of pages of documents related to sexual assault allegations within the Jehovah’s Witness Church, documents which are presumably part of a database that church officials have refused to relinquish in an unrelated sexual molestation trial, resulting in a one and a half year legal battle and millions of dollars in fines.

The 69 pages of documents detail how Jehovah’s Witnesses authorities and church officials handled allegations of repeated sexual assault by one of its local leaders. The interviews and detailed notes compiled by church authorities about molestation and rape allegations are horrific. The 33 documents also provide a staggering play-by-play of how the Watchtower Tract and Bible Society—the parent corporation and governing body for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, often simply referred to as “the Watchtower”—handled the case internally over the course of nearly a decade—playing therapist, prosecutor, jury, and judge—and the lengths to which they went to keep these accusations away from the “worldly court of law.”

The documents show that in 1999, a committee of Jehovah’s Witnesses elders found allegations from two women that their father had sexually abused them to be credible, yet held off on forming an internal judicial committee to take their own form of judicial action against the alleged abuser because one of the daughters was not willing to face the father and formally make the accusations against him, as judicial committee policy requires. Once she went through with the process years later, a spiritually guided trial was held and he was disfellowshipped. However, a year later he was reinstated. The documents show that Jehovah’s Witnesses leaders cast shade on one accuser and her husband for trying to take this matter to secular law enforcement.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:51 PM

Archdiocese alerts Vatican about new allegation against Apuron

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

January 10, 2018

By Haidee V. Eugenio

There still is no word on the results of the Vatican's canonical trial of Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron, according to Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes, who issued a written statement Wednesday in response to the latest sexual abuse allegation against Apuron.

According to the Archdiocese of Agana, the Guam Daily Post reported that Mark Apuron, a nephew of Archbishop Apuron, alleges the archbishop sexually abused in him 1990.

No lawsuit has been filed in connection with that allegation, but Apuron currently faces four lawsuits that accuse him of abusing or raping four Agat altar boys in the late 1970s, when he was parish priest in that village.

"All subsequent information the archdiocese receives regarding this case will be forwarded expeditiously to Rome, adhering to our new, strengthened sexual abuse policy," the archdiocese said in a statement.

"All allegations of sexual abuse brought to the attention of our archdiocese are important because of the grave, irreversible harm all victims of abuse suffer at the hands of persons they once trusted,” Byrnes stated. "We are committed to protecting all children and young people entrusted to our care and to not repeat the serious failings of the past."

In October 2017, Byrnes said Vatican officials informed him that the Vatican tribunal had determined a verdict in Apuron's case. The results still have not been disclosed, according to Byrnes, who was appointed as Apuron's eventual replacement.

To date, 154 Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuits, including four alleging rape or sexual abuse by Apuron, have been filed in local and federal court.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:49 PM

Archdiocese alerts Vatican

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

January 10, 2018

By Mindy Aguon

The Vatican has been alerted about the newest allegation of abuse against Guam's suspended archbishop, according to the Archdiocese of Agana.

Mark Mafnas Apuron, in an exclusive interview with The Guam Daily Post, accused his uncle, Anthony Apuron, of sexually abusing him in 1990 while at an event at the Archdiocese of Agana Chancery Office.

Mark Apuron said he was 16 when the alleged abuse occurred in his "Uncle Tony's" bathroom at the chancery. He alleges he was raped by his uncle and the incident left him estranged from his immediate family members and feeling ashamed and petrified.

"I believed he was the powerful, untouchable uncle," Mark Apuron said.

Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes acknowledged the allegation of sexual abuse and confirmed he alerted Vatican officials about the newest case.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:47 PM

Pastor Andy Savage Apologizes For "Sexual Incident" With Teen Girl, But It’s Her Response You Need To Hear

MEMPHIS (TN)
Bustle

January 10, 2018

By Madhuri Sathish

It wasn't just Hollywood that felt the full impact of the #MeToo movement. People around the world shared their experiences with sexual violence, and held those who had assaulted them accountable. Jules Woodson said a pastor, Andy Savage, sexually assaulted her almost 20 years ago in Woodlands, Texas, and she went public with her allegations last week. Savage publicly apologized to her in church Sunday and received a standing ovation from his Memphis congregation, but Woodson told Memphis' Action News 5 that she found Savage's apology sorely lacking.

“His apology isn’t enough because number one, he’s lying about how he handled it,” Woodson said. “He never came to me, the church told him he couldn’t talk to me and they told me I couldn’t talk to him,” she explained.

Before going public with her story, Woodson sent an email to Savage back in December — on the heels of the Harvey Weinstein scandal — with the subject line, "Do you remember?" In the email, Woodson reminded Savage of a night two decades prior, when Savage was supposed to drive Woodson home from church but instead allegedly sexually assaulted her on a deserted back road. It was only when Savage didn't respond that Woodson spoke out, in a blog post detailing what had happened.

"It's very hard to tell your story," Woodson told Action News 5. "It's very hard to speak up, especially when you feel pressured by the church to be silent."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:42 PM

Church in Scotland criticized for failure to meet with clergy abuse victim groups

SCOTLAND
Christian Daily

January 10, 2018

By Lorraine Caballero

The Catholic Church in Scotland has drawn criticism for its failure to meet with victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse more than two years after the head of the Scottish bishops' conference offered a public apology over the issue.

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland's former moderator, Rev. Andrew McLellan, said he was "disappointed" by how long it was taking the bishops to meet with sex abuse victims and survivors. He said although the Archbishop of Glasgow, Philip Tartaglia, issued a very good apology, the intervention that came after that was not enough, Crux relayed.

"After Archbishop Tartaglia's public apology, which he did so well, there was a long hard silence, and I was very disappointed in terms of the progress the bishops were making," Rev. McLellan told Scottish newspaper Sunday Herald.

McLellan previously chaired a commission which examined the issue of child protection in the local Catholic Church. In the group's report, which was published in 2015, he outlined eight policy recommendations that included prioritizing support for the abuse survivors and the revision of the "Awareness and Safety" manual on preventing abuse, which was introduced in 2007.

McLellan also highlighted the importance of serving justice to both the victim of abuse and the perpetrators. He added that there must be regular training on safeguarding against clerical abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:41 PM

Associate Pastor charged with possession of child pornography

BELLEVILLE (IL)
FOX2 Now

Janaury 9, 2018

By Chris Smith

BELLEVILLE, IL. – Tuesday the St. Clair State’s Attorney’s Office charged the Associate Pastor of Holy Childhood Catholic Church in Mascoutah with possession of child pornography. 54-year-old Gerald R. Hechenberger has been charged with 16 counts of Dissemination of Child Pornography with the Victim Under the age of 13 and 1 count of Possession of Methamphetamine.

Hechenberger was taken into custody Monday, after investigators from the Belleville Police Department and the Illinois Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force obtained search warrants to search the rectory of the Holy Childhood Catholic Church located in Belleville.

Authorities had acted on a tip that indicated that Hechenberger was distributing child pornography.

Bond for Hechenberger has been set at $2,000,000.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:39 PM

Prosecutor seeks 15 years in prison for Russian priest charged with pedophilia

ST. PETERSBURG (RUSSIA)
RAPSI

January 10, 2018

By Mikhail Telekhov

ST. PETERSBURG, January 10 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – A prosecutor has demanded a 15-year prison sentence for Russian priest Gleb Grozovsky, who stands charged with sexual abuse of children, his sister Lyubov Grozovskaya has told RAPSI.

Moreover, the prosecutor asked a court to prohibit the defendant from practicing his profession for 2 years.

According to investigators, Grozovsky committed several sexual crimes against minors in 2011 and 2013.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:37 PM

Catholic priest is charged with 16 counts of child porn and meth possession after police received an anonymous tip

MASCOUTAH (IL)
Daily Mail

January 10, 2018

By Keith Griffith

- Gerald R. Hechenberger, 54, charged with child porn on Tuesday near St. Louis
- Catholic priest is associate pastor at three parishes in southern Illinois
- Dawn raid on rectory recovered porn of kids under 13 and meth, cops say

A Catholic priest faces charges of child pornography and possession of methamphetamine after an anonymous tipster alerted police.

Gerald R. Hechenberger, 54, was arrested after a dawn police raid Monday morning on the rectory of the Holy Childhood of Jesus parish in Mascoutah, Illinois, a town 30 miles east of St. Louis.

He is charged with eight counts each of possession and dissemination of porn depicting a child under 13, and one count of possessing meth under five grams.

Hechenberger is an associate pastor at Holy Childhood, as well as at nearby parishes St. Pancratius Parish in Fayetteville and St. Liborius Parish in St. Libory.

Detectives in the Belleville Police Department initiated the investigation into Hechenbacher several weeks ago after receiving an online tip through the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force reporting line.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:34 PM

'Catastrophic institutional failure' can be fixed

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

January 9, 2018

By Kieran Tapsell

The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse spent five years interviewing over 8,000 survivors, their abusers and personnel from institutions that had covered up the abuse. The Commission found that 61.8 percent of all survivors within religious institutions had been under the care of the Catholic Church.

The Commission's 17 volume Final Report, released on Dec. 15, 2017, made hundreds of recommendations for change in structures, practices and internal laws of institutions. Many of the recommendations addressed to the church involved changes to canon law.

Two of these recommendations received massive media attention: that celibacy no longer be obligatory and that civil reporting laws should not provide an exemption in the case of confession. There has been some pushback against these recommendations because they involve overturning long traditions in the church.

But many other recommendations had more to do with church law and practice, and could be more easily implemented, if church leadership is willing to take up this challenge.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:32 PM

LILLYBROOKE FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER OPENS

SANDPOINT (ID)
Priest River Times

January 10, 2018

By Keith Kinnaird

SANDPOINT — A new chapter is opening at one of Sandpoint’s most storied homes.

The McFarland House, the stately dwelling at the corner of South First Avenue and Superior Street, is now home to the LillyBrooke Family Justice Center.

The home will serve as an advocacy center for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, although you would not gather that from the home’s comfortable appearance.

“We’re setting it up to look like a house. We just want that feel — like you’re coming to grandma’s house,” said Peggy Frye, victim witness unit coordinator for the Bonner County Prosecutor’s Office.

LillyBrooke, which is patterned after the national child advocacy center model, will serve as something as a hub for abused children in Bonner and Boundary counties.

Children who disclose abuse will be able to do so in a setting that is closer to a home than the sterile confines and pale lighting of an office space. The home will eventually fitted with an audio/video system that will allow children to make their disclosures in one room while a multi-disciplinary team monitors the interview from a different room.

The home will also be used for forensic examinations.

The idea is to bring law enforcement investigators, prosecutors, doctors and Idaho Department of Health & Welfare officials together to take account of disclosures without sending children and their family to various locations where they have to continually restate their accounts.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:30 PM

#MeToo campaign triggers horrid memories for Miami women

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

January 10, 2018

By Brenda Medina

In an old warehouse-turned-office in northwestern Miami, a group of women is about to start a painful but empowering conversation.

Sitting on metal folding chairs around an improvised altar covered with a yellow sheet and a lit candle at its center, 16 women share intimate stories of sexual harassment and abuse.

They are not wealthy or famous celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Taylor Swift or Salma Hayek. Their accused abusers are not powerful men like Harvey Weinstein. Those present at this gathering are everyday Miami women, minorities, immigrants. They clean hotels and homes. They serve as nannies and waitresses. They help care for the sick and the elderly.

What brought them together was the national debate sparked by the #MeToo campaign. The millions of testimonies about sexual harassment and abuse that flooded social and mainstream media made them recall their own traumatic experiences, an issue that Golden Globe honoree Oprah Winfrey brought to the forefront again during a speech earlier this week.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:28 PM

Cardinal Pell living at Sydney seminary ahead of historic sex abuse hearing

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
CNN

January 10, 2018

An Australian seminary where Cardinal George Pell is living while he fights charges of historic sexual abuse says the top Vatican figure is “very much looking forward” to the start of a key court hearing, where dozens of witnesses will give evidence.

It had been unclear where Pell, the most senior cardinal in the history of the Catholic Church to face criminal charges, had been living since he was given a leave of absence from his role at the Holy See and returned to his native Australia.

The spokesman for the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Homebush, Sydney confirmed to CNN the 76-year-old Cardinal was residing at the seminary, where 40 young trainee priests live and study as they prepare for their careers in parishes across the country.

“Cardinal Pell is now very much looking forward to the March hearing and his day in court,” a spokesman for the seminary said. “He has repeatedly said he is innocent of all allegations made against him.”s

In less than two months the Cardinal will face a four-week long committal hearing at Melbourne Magistrates Court where evidence will be heard from 50 witnesses.

At least two weeks of the hearing, which begins March 5, will be in closed court when complainants give evidence via video link. Once the hearing is completed, the magistrate will then decide if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial at a higher court.

At a news conference at the Vatican in June last year, Pell said he had been the victim of “relentless character assassination.”

“I’m innocent of these charges, they are false,” Pell said. “The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:26 PM

Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs is accused of horrific sex abuse — again — and people on the Utah-Arizona line may have to pay — again

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

January 10, 2018

By Nate Carlisle

Land trust may be the only defendant able to pay woman known as “R.H.”

The newest lawsuit against Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints President Warren Jeffs, in which he is accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a girl as young as 8 in a ritualistic fashion, lists 26 defendants.

Only one of them is sure to have money — the United Effort Plan (UEP). It’s the land trust that Jeffs used to control, but which the state of Utah seized in 2005. It has since been reorganized under the eye of a state judge and has been working to provide housing and other benefits to residents in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., collectively known as Short Creek.

The UEP may still have assets of $100 million.

Margaret Cooke assumes that’s the only reason the UEP is being sued.

“It just seems like it is a ploy to get money because nobody else has any,” said Cooke, a former member of the UEP board of trustees.

In interviews with The Salt Lake Tribune, former FLDS members recoiled at the latest sex abuse allegations against Jeffs. They also voiced bewilderment at why the land trust that has been trying to help those who consider themselves Jeffs’ victims, of one kind or another, is being asked to pay.

As Josie McDonald, 38, who was raised in Short Creek and left the polygamous sect 13 years ago, put it, the UEP is “paying for Warren’s mistakes, essentially, and not him.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:24 PM

Indonesia's alleged paedophile scandal

INDONESIA
UCANews

January 10, 2018

A part-time Islam religion teacher is accused of molesting at least 41 boys aged between 6-15 years

A teacher in Indonesia has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing dozens of young boys, officials have said.

Wawan Sutiono, 49, was arrested on Jan. 6 in Tangerang, a town 35 kilometers west of the capital Jakarta.

The part-time Islam religion teacher is accused of molesting at least 41 boys aged between 6-15 years of age over a nine-month period, police said.

The alleged crimes were committed between April and December last year.

The arrest comes after police received a complaint by one of the alleged victims’ parents on Dec 20, 2017.

It was not clear why the police too three weeks to arrest the suspect.

If found guilty, Sutiono could face up to 15 years in prison and chemical castration under a recently introduced law to deal with convicted sex offenders.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:22 PM

A pastor admitted a past ‘sexual incident’ with a teen. His congregation gave him a standing ovation.

MEMPHIS (TN)
The Washington Post

January 10, 2018

By Kyle Swenson

On Dec. 1, as headlines across the country blared with news about Matt Lauer’s surprise firing from the “Today” show for sexual misconduct, a woman named Jules Woodson tapped out a short email. It ran only about 80 words but was nearly 20 years in the making. “Do you remember?” the subject line read.

“Do you remember that night that you were supposed to drive me home from church and instead drove me to a deserted back road and sexually assaulted me?” Woodson wrote. “Do you remember how you acted like you loved me and cared about me in order for me to cooperate in such acts, only to run out of the vehicle later and fall to your knees begging for forgiveness and for me not to tell anyone what had just happened?”

She closed with three words and a hashtag. “Well I REMEMBER,” the email said. “#me-too.”

The message landed in the inbox of Andy Savage, a pastor at Highpoint Church, an evangelical Memphis mega-congregation that draws more than 2,000 Sunday worshipers. The 42-year-old checked all the right boxes for a rising minister: biblically trained, handsome and CrossFit-cut; an attractive wife and five young sons; social media savvy and unafraid of speaking on topics such as sex. Savage’s career had begun as a college student working at a church outside Houston, a congregation Woodson attended as a high school student.

When Savage failed to respond to Woodson’s December email, she took her allegations public on Jan. 5, posting a detailed account of the alleged sexual assault on a blog for abuse survivors. Evangelical circles started spinning with reports of a then-college student forcing a sexual encounter with a student.

Yet instead of following the course of so many recent sexual harassment scandals — reports that have toppled careers in Hollywood, media and politics — Savage’s public outing seems to have failed to upset his position. In a message on the church’s website, he admitted to a “sexual incident” with a high school student at the time. Highpoint’s main pastor, Chris Conlee, also released a statement supporting Savage. And last Sunday, the pastor addressed his congregation about the allegations, but provided little detail.

“In hindsight, I see more could have been done for Jules,” Savage said, according to video. “I am truly sorry more was not done. Until now I did not know there was unfinished business with Jules. So today, I say, Jules I am deeply sorry for my actions 20 years ago.”

As Savage finished his remarks, he was greeted with a 20-second standing ovation from Highpoint’s congregation.

“His apology isn’t enough because number one, he’s lying about how he handled it,” an unsatisfied Woodson told Memphis’s Action News 5. “He never came to me, the church told him he couldn’t talk to me and they told me I couldn’t talk to him,” she explained.

Savage did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But Savage’s situation tracks with a larger tendency within the evangelical community, according to Christa Brown, an expert on church abuse scandals and coverups. “Religious leaders use forgiveness theology as a cover, and as an avoidance, of accountability,” Brown told The Washington Post. “And it’s a way of further shaming victims. ‘What a bad girl you are, you aren’t forgiving.’”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:19 PM

Publicly Accused Priests, Brothers, Sisters, and Deacons in Chile

WALTHAM (MA)
BishopAccountability.org

January 10, 2018

[Note: The Chilean database is also available in Spanish.]

BishopAccountability.org has examined news and court archives and identified nearly 80 clergy in Chile publicly accused of sexually abusing minors.

The database reveals the distinctive aspects of the Catholic abuse crisis in Chile, and the degree to which much remains hidden. Most of the cases detailed below involve abuse that has occurred since 2000 and was reported to law enforcement quickly -- within just a few years of occurrence. We know from Catholic abuse data published elsewhere that such cases comprise a small fraction of the total scope of the problem.

It is worth noting that the factors that have caused significant disclosure elsewhere of secret church files and abusive priests’ names – widespread litigation by victims, investigations of church entities by prosecutors, and inquiries by government commissions – have not so far occurred in Chile.

This list, then, is a fraction of the total number of accused clerics who would be known if Chile's church leaders were required to report to law enforcement, if its legal system allowed victims more time to bring criminal and civil charges, or if dioceses and religious orders were investigated by prosecutors or state commissions. In Australia, which has half as many Catholics as Chile and a comparable number of active priests and brothers (around 5,000), a recently concluded government inquiry counted child sex abuse allegations against more than 1,100 male clergy.

The lack of external pressure allows Catholic church leaders in Chile to act with impunity. They openly reinstate, for instance, priests who have faced multiple allegations of abuse. Chile’s senior churchman, Santiago archbishop Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, announced in December 2016 that Cristián Precht Bañados had fulfilled his canonical sentence of five years’ suspension from ministry. A church investigation had uncovered 20 victims of Precht, ranging from age 15 to 35. Yet Precht is now allowed again to say Mass publicly, Ezzati said; he has regained “his fundamental exercise of the rights he has as a presbyter."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:48 AM

January 9, 2018

Cardinal Pell accuser dies before sexual abuse trial begins

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
Catholic News Agency

January 8, 2018

The legal case against Cardinal George Pell of Australia has taken an unexpected turn, after the death of Damian Dignan, who accused Pell of committing acts of sexual abuse.

Dignan died of leukemia last week in the Australian town of Ballarat, which will likely impact a committal hearing scheduled for March 5 addressing the sexual abuse charges levelled against Pell.

In March 2016, Dignan and two former classmates from St. Alipius school in Ballarat who together accused Pell of inappropriate sexual behavior when they were minors. The cardinal had previously been accused of acts of child sexual abuse dating as far back as 1961.

Without the sworn testimony of Dignan in court, it is possible that prosecutors could drop the case altogether. However, Victorian Police did not confirm or deny the plausibility of this happening, especially because the prosecution could still use sworn statements or evidence given under oath made before Dignan’s death.

In addition, up to 50 witnesses are still expected to testify during the upcoming committal hearing.

Former Victorian magistrate Nicholas Papas did note that convicting Pell without Dignan is a “more difficult task,” according to the DailyMail UK.

Dignan’s lawyer Ingrid Irwin said that it was “ridiculous” that Dignan died “without any justice,” according to the Herald Sun.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:29 AM

Retired teacher is jailed for indecent assaults

ENGLAND
Kingsbridge and Salcombe Gazette

January 8, 2018

By Roger Williams

Villagers have spoken of their shock after a retired teacher was jailed for four years for indecently assaulting boys in his charge at a school in West Sussex.

Peter Burr, 73, of The Square, Kingswear, admitted nine counts of indecent assault between 1969 and 1973 on young boys at Christ’s Hospital School, a boarding school in Horsham, West Sussex.

Burr was well-known in the area. He could often be found at the Ship Inn in Kingswear or the Windjammer in Dartmouth.

Jan Henshall, chairman of Kingswear Parish Council, said: “I believe he was a member of Royal Dart Yacht Club. In the past, he attended the senior citizens lunch at Christmas in the village. He had a social life here and was well-known. From what I can gather from his friends, they are in total shock.”

Jason Byrne, of Kingswear Post Office, said: “He was a good customer and a very nice man. I’m surprised and shocked like everyone else. He’s done wrong and will now have to pay for it.

“He always kept himself to himself. If he was going away, he would not give any details. He would just say I’m going to see some friends, whereas as other people might say where they are going or have been.

“Every Saturday evening, he went to church.”

Burr attended St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Dartmouth.

Richard Rendle said: “I am disappointed because I thought he was a gentleman. I know he helped at the Regatta with classic craft and was a member of the Probus Club in Dartmouth.”

A physics teacher and deputy housemaster at the school, he was sentenced to four years in prison by judge Christine Henson QC, at Hove Crown Court on Friday, January 5, and was given concurrent sentences for each of the victims and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

DC Rebecca Wilde, of Sussex Police, said; "He clearly focused his sexual attentions on boys between and 11 and 13 in his house, leaving older boys alone.

"Some of the offences took place in his study during informal Wednesday and Sunday afternoon gatherings to watch TV, with tea, biscuits and cake on offer. To be invited was regarded as a great privilege and he took advantage of this, and his status, to systematically touch and molest three of the victims.

"The fourth victim was assaulted in the dormitory area and at the school swimming pool.

"The four boys kept these traumatic experiences largely to themselves for up to 48 years and moved on with their lives.

"We were first told about Burr in February last year, when one of the victims came forward, triggered by hearing a local radio debate in London on the recently publicised football sex abuse scandal, and believing that insufficient attention was given to cases in which offenders were not public celebrities.

"One of the others later came forward after the school advised ex-pupils of the ongoing investigation.

"This is an important reminder that such reports will always be taken seriously, however long ago they are said to have happened."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:26 AM

TENSIONS AHEAD OF PAPAL VISIT TO CHILE

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Tablet

January 9, 2018

By Christopher Lamb

Opinion polls say that just 36 per cent of the Catholic majority population are looking forward to the papal visit

Pope Francis departs on Monday for a trip to Chile and Peru for what will be his sixth visit to Latin America, where issues of clerical sexual abuse and church renewal are likely to feature.

The question of abuse is likely to loom largest in Chile where the Pope has faced criticism for appointing Osorno’s Bishop Juan Barros, accused of covering up abuse by a prominent priest, Fr Fernando Karadima in the 1980s and 90s.

Peter Saunders, a British abuse survivor who recently resigned as a member of the Pope’s child protection commission, says he plans to be in Chile to try and highlight the case. Bishop Barros’ appointment has been a divisive one with 650 people turning up in protest during his ordination ceremony that saw the new bishop needing protection from ushers in order to enter the cathedral.

In impromptu remarks to a group of Chilean pilgrims following a Wednesday General Audience, the Pope criticised Osorno’s protesters saying leftist politicians were leading them “by the nose” and had been allowed to “fill people’s heads, judging a bishop without any evidence.” The Vatican judged Karadima to have abused children and sentenced him to a life of prayer and penitence. Bishop Barros, who was accused of protecting Karadima, has denied covering up.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:22 AM

Catholic ex-priest refuses to speak at sexual abuse trial in Germany

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

January 9, 2018

It's the second court session in which the 53-year-old declined to speak. He faces sexual abuse and other charges. He was expelled from the priesthood in 2008 but continued to pose as a cleric.

A 53-year-old former priest is currently on trial in a district court in the Bavarian city of Deggendorf. Thomas Maria B., who was born in Wuppertal, is accused of having sexually abused five German boys under the age of 14 a total of 110 times between 1997 and 2016. The man is also accused of the attempted rape of an 18-year-old in Austria. The attorney defending the former Catholic priest has said that the man "feels incapable" of testifying before the court. He also refused to address the court in December.

Mentally disturbed defendant

Public prosecutors in Deggendorf have said that the defendant is mentally disturbed and thus cannot be held entirely responsible for his actions. Nevertheless, they see a threat that he could repeat such offenses again in the future. They are therefore calling for the man to be permanently committed to a psychiatric institution. He was previously imprisoned between 2003 and 2009 for the rape and abuse of two young girls.

Entered priesthood with fraudulent documents

After completing studies in theology, the man was ordained a priest in Poland in 1994. State prosecutors accuse the man of having used fake documents to fraudulently gain access to the priesthood. A church court in the German archdiocese of Freiburg removed the man from the priesthood in 2008, which officially forbade him from carrying out priestly work. That decision was upheld by another church court in Munich in 2012.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:17 AM

Metro East priest accused of possessing child porn

MASCOUTAH (IL)
KMOV

January 8, 2018

A Catholic priest from a church in Mascoutah, Illinois is accused of possessing child pornography.

Belleville police say they got a tip leading them to Rev. Gerald Hechenberger, who is the associate pastor at Holy Childhood Church and School.

Investigators say he was distributing images of children under 13-years-old.

He has been arrested but has yet to be charged. Police say the investigation is ongoing.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:13 AM

Trial set in Berkeley County on lawsuit claiming Mormon church covered up abuse

MARTINSBURG (WV)
Herald-Mail Media

January 8, 2018

By Matthew Umstead

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A jury trial is slated to begin next week in Berkeley County (W.Va.) Circuit Court on a lawsuit that claims Mormon church leaders covered up the sexual abuse of several children by a member who since has been excommunicated and imprisoned.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has adamantly denied the claims, which are connected to criminal prosecutions of Christopher Michael Jensen dating to 2004 in Berkeley County and Provo, Utah.

Jensen, now 26, is serving a 35- to 75-year prison sentence for his conviction in Berkeley County on two counts of sexual abuse and one count of sexual assault.

Jensen was convicted in February, 2013 of sexually abusing two boys while babysitting them in 2007, but the children didn't report what occurred until 2012, attorneys said.

A pool of 100 people is expected to be summoned to possibly serve as jurors in the civil trial, which is set to begin Jan. 16.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:06 AM

Abingdon vicar guilty of 'spiritually abusing' boy

ENGLAND
BBC News

January 8, 2018

A Church of England vicar has been convicted by a tribunal of spiritually abusing a teenage boy.

The Reverend Timothy Davis moved in with the boy's family in 2013 and held two-hour private prayer sessions in the boy's bedroom, the panel heard.

Mr Davis, of Christ Church, Abingdon, also tried to end the boy's relationship with his girlfriend, describing her as a "bad seed".

The Bishop's Disciplinary Tribunal said it would fix a penalty in due course.

Church of England officials said it was thought to be the first time a tribunal had convicted a priest of spiritual abuse.

Mr Davis lived with the family, who were members of his congregation, for six months in 2013.

'Unbecoming and inappropriate'

During the prayer sessions in the boy's bedroom they laid hands on each other's head, shoulders, chest and back, although the tribunal ruled there was no "sexual touching".

The boy's mother said she could not tell Mr Davis to stop because she was "frightened of the consequences to Tim and what God would do".

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:04 AM

Church of England finds vicar guilty of spiritual abuse of 15-year-old boy

ENGLAND
The Guardian

January 8, 2018

By Harriet Sherwood

Tim Davis moved into boy’s Oxfordshire home and subjected him to intense prayer and Bible sessions in his bedroom

The Church of England has found a vicar guilty of spiritually abusing a teenage boy, after putting him under “unacceptable pressure” during intensive prayer and Bible-study sessions in the boy’s bedroom.

In the first judgment of its kind, a C of E tribunal found that the Revd Timothy Davis, the vicar of Christ Church, Abingdon, in Oxfordshire, was guilty of misconduct under clergy disciplinary measures.

The ruling was published on Monday as an online survey found that two-thirds of 1,591 respondents said they had personally experienced spiritual abuse.

The survey, carried out by Bournemouth University for the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS), a safeguarding charity, identified key characteristics of spiritual abuse as coercion and control, manipulation and pressuring of individuals, control through the misuse of religious texts and scripture, and providing a ‘divine’ rationale for behaviour”.

The bishops’ disciplinary tribunal for the diocese of Oxfordshire said that Davis was guilty of “conduct unbecoming to the office and work of a clerk of holy orders through the abuse of spiritual power and authority”. There was no suggestion of any sexual contact.

According to the 20-page judgment, Davis, who is in his 50s, became a mentor to a 15-year-old boy, named in the judgment as W1, in 2011. Over a period of 18 months, Davis “engaged in mentoring so intense that W1 was put under unacceptable pressure having regard to his age and maturity and was deprived of his freedom of choice as to whether to continue”.

It added: “Under the guise of his authority [Davis] sought to control by the use of admonition, scripture, prayer and revealed prophecy the life of W1 and/or his relationship with his girlfriend.”

During the 18 months, Davis moved into the family home, and engaged W1 in prayer and bible study for two-hour sessions in the boy’s bedroom. The vicar also went on holiday with the family.

W1 described being mentored by Davis as “awful” and all-consuming, but did not feel able to challenge the priest. He told the tribunal that Davis became angry if he did not ring him or respond to texts.

W1’s mother, who worked at the church, also felt unable to challenge Davis because he was her boss and had made it clear that God wanted his mentoring of W1 to continue. She told the tribunal she “was scared of going against God”.

Davis told the panel that he was “shocked and confused” about the allegations, and had “no idea of the effect I was apparently having”.

Clergy guidelines acknowledge the power that priests can have over others, and state such power must not be used to bully, manipulate or denigrate. Clergy should never seek to remove autonomy from a person, nor should power be exercised inappropriately, the guidelines say.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:00 AM

Oxfordshire vicar found guilty of spiritual abuse

ENGLAND
Premier.

January 8, 2018

By Marcus Jones

An Anglican priest, who's accused of spiritually abusing a teenager, has been found guilty of misconduct by a Church court.

Rev Timothy Davis, from Christ Church Abingdon, is said to have breached safeguarding procedures through an "intense" mentoring programme with the school boy who's not been identified.

A tribunal, held at Southwark Cathedral, found that the frequency of contact between the vicar and the teenager had grown to inappropriate levels including contact via telephone.

It also heard how mentoring sessions were held in the teenager's bedroom with the door closed - however no misconduct of a sexual nature was reported.

Davis was also found to have overused scripture in conversations with the teenager.

The guilty verdict on spiritual abuse is said to be the first of its kind.

A decision will now be made in regards to suitable punishment.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:56 AM

Associate pastor of Mascoutah church taken into police custody

MASCOUTAH (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

January 8, 2018

By Kaley Johnson

The associate pastor of Holy Childhood Church and school in Mascoutah was taken into police custody Monday morning, according to the state’s attorney.

The priest was identified as the Rev. Gerald R. Hechenberger.

“We have been working with Belleville (police) and the task force for several weeks and we anticipate they will be submitting evidence collected pursuant to a search warrant we issued within the next 48 hours to be reviewed for charges involving Gerald Hechenberger,” St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said.

Earlier in the day, Belleville police issued a statement saying a Mascoutah resident was identified as being in possession of child pornography, but the police statement did not identify the resident. A police captain confirmed that Belleville police officers were at the church at 419 East Church St. around 7 a.m. Monday.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:53 AM

Nephew accuses archbishop

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

January 9, 2018

By Mindy Aguon

For the last 27 years, Mark Mafnas Apuron has held onto a secret, one that resulted in him being estranged from his immediate family members and left him ashamed and petrified.

"When my experience happened, I thought I was the only one," Apuron said, as he sat in an office in Hagåtña yesterday, speaking with The Guam Daily Post.

But Apuron resolved to make this year different by coming forward and speaking of the past.

The 43-year-old will be filing a lawsuit this week alleging that he was sexually abused in the chancery in 1990 by his uncle, now-suspended Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Mark Apuron was then 16 years old and had returned to Guam with his family after his dad retired from the military. He recalls going to his "Uncle Tony's house" – the Archdiocese of Agana Chancery Office – frequently for various functions.

Anthony Apuron was installed as the archbishop of Agana on May 11, 1986, according to the Archdiocese of Agana. He was also elected president of the Catholic Episcopal Conference of the Pacific in 1990.

During social functions at the chancery, Mark Apuron remembers making alcoholic beverages for his family members at their request, and would occasionally take a sip.

On one occasion in 1990, Mark Apuron sneaked away from the crowd to smoke a cigarette in his uncle's bathroom inside the chancery. While inside, sipping an alcohol mixed drink and puffing on a cigarette, the 16-year-old became distracted testing out the bottles of cologne displayed on his uncle's bathroom vanity.

"I just wanted to enjoy myself and do it in private, where nobody could see me," Mark Apuron said, explaining that he was a teen experimenting. "I just wanted to try it."

The next thing he knew, his uncle, Archbishop Anthony Apuron, was staring at him angrily.

"He asked, 'What are you doing?'" Mark Apuron said. He said he froze, afraid of what trouble he was in, when his uncle allegedly pulled down his pants and pushed him onto the vanity. The teen thought he was going to get a whipping for smoking and drinking but instead, he said, his uncle raped him. He managed to shove the older relative off and get away, and stayed with his parents until they were ready to leave.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:50 AM

OPINION: The #TimesUp Anger the Golden Globes Black Dress Parade Can’t Hide

UNITED STATES
The Daily Beast

January 8, 2018

By Tim Teeman

The black attire of celebrities at the Golden Globes was supposed to make an implicit ‘Time’s Up’ political point. But the business of showbusiness was also brutally apparent.

When is a dress more than a dress? Can a dress make a political point?

On Sunday night, if anything was refreshing about the Golden Globes red carpet, it was what was said, not the widely-hyped what was worn.

The talk, as repetitive and halting as it was—and sometimes focused on E!’s own shortcomings as Debra Messing, Sarah Jessica Parker and Eva Longoria took aim at the network over the circumstances of the departure of Catt Sadler—was of the need for political and cultural change.

Actresses and actors were dressed in black to signify support, along with pins, of the “Time’s Up” movement, targeting sexual abuse, assault and harassment in the workplace. People said “Time’s Up” a lot. Sure, the viewer thought at home: we’re agreed on that, now what?

If you were expecting revolution, the sight of dresses still costing thousands of dollars and expensive diamonds draped around perfectly proportioned necks should have provided a cooling corrective.

This was, in many ways, a very traditional red carpet. There was nobody in black T shirts, sweaters and jeans. No-one came in Bermuda shorts. The fashion statement was of the most conservative kind: the celebrities attending were wearing exactly the same kind of expensive dresses and tuxes that actors and actresses wear to awards ceremonies. They just happened to be black.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:48 AM

Rose McGowan Blasts ‘Hollywood Fakery’ Of Black-Dress Protest At Golden Globes

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

January 8, 2018

By Ron Dicker

The actress’ accusations against Harvey Weinstein helped bring attention to the issue of sexual misconduct in Hollywood.

Actress Rose McGowan said Sunday that it was “Hollywood fakery” for actors to wear black to the Golden Globes as a way to protest sexual misconduct.

McGowan, an actress and activist who has accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her, criticized the awards show in an impassioned Twitter exchange with Asia Argento, another alleged Weinstein victim.

When Argento pointed out that McGowan had spoken out about Weinstein and inspired others to step forward, the former “Charmed” star wrote in reply: “And not one of those fancy people wearing black to honor our rapes would have lifted a finger had it not been so. I have no time for Hollywood fakery, but you I love, @AsiaArgento #RoseArmy.”

When word spread in December that actresses planned to wear black dresses to the awards ceremony, McGowan zeroed in on Meryl Streep. She said the Oscar winner showed “hypocrisy” for having worked with Weinstein. Streep has insisted that she knew nothing of Weinstein’s alleged criminal behavior, and told HuffPost through a representative that she was hurt by McGowan’s comments.

Actress Amber Tamblyn said at the time that she was friends with McGowan but that those remarks had been beneath her.

“Rose McGowan is a friend and while I support her kind of movement, I do not support any woman (or man) shaming or taunting the movements of other women who are trying to create change,” Tamblyn tweeted.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:45 AM

4 former Boy Scouts file sex abuse lawsuits

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

January 8, 2018

By Mindy Aguon

Four new child sex abuse cases were filed last week in the Superior Court of Guam by former Boy Scouts against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America and retired priest Louis Brouillard.

Attorney Michael Berman represents four clients who allege they were sexually abused by Brouillard while they were Boy Scouts in their teens. The men filed the lawsuits using initials to protect their identities.

The archdiocese now faces more than 150 sex abuse lawsuits involving alleged child sex abuse decades ago, with combined claims for damages exceeding $500 million.

The accounts of abuse in these four complaints were similar as all four plaintiffs recalled alleged abuse during Boy Scout outings with Brouillard, who was a Guam priest and a scout master.

M.W.M., 53, alleges he was abused in the late 1970s during regular swimming and camping outings over the course of a year. Brouillard took the Boy Scouts swimming and would routinely instruct the boys to remove their clothes and swim naked, the lawsuit states.

The complaint also alleges Brouillard took photos of the boys while they were nude and swimming.

M.W.M. alleges he was fondled, and contends the priest enticed them with promises of merit badges and dinner.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:38 AM

GuideStone summit to tackle cybersecurity, sexual abuse

DALLAS (TX)
Baptist Standard

January 8, 2018

By Ray Hayhurst

DALLAS (BP)—Cybersecurity and sexual abuse in the church will be among the topics addressed at GuideStone Financial Resources’ second annual Employee Benefits Summit.

The Southern Baptist Business Officers Conference and GuideStone Benefits Forum merged last year to create the summit for church business leaders. The conference, slated for March 26–28 at The Westin Galleria in Dallas, offers an expanded menu of networking and training opportunities.

Speakers include Holly Boullion from CapinCrouse, who will cover cybersecurity, and Kimberlee Norris from MinistrySafe to address the topic of sexual abuse in the church, along with Gayla Crain, an employment law attorney.

Up to 11 qualifying hours will be available for Continuing Professional Education credit.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:36 AM

Texas church leader placed on leave in connection with Memphis pastor sex scandal

MEMPHIS (TN)
USA Today

January 8, 2018

By Ron Maxey

A Texas church has placed on leave a staff member who was on staff with Memphis pastor Andy Savage when Savage was involved in a sexual encounter with a 17-year-old.

The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, placed Larry Cotton on leave in connection with allegations made by Jules Woodson against Savage, whose title is now teaching pastor at Highpoint Church in East Memphis.

Monday's move by the Texas church is the latest twist in the story since the allegations against Savage came to light. Savage remains on staff at Highpoint, which has expressed support for him.

John Young, Austin Stone's director of communications, confirmed the action against Cotton on Monday by email.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:34 AM

More than 1,000 churchgoers complain of spiritual abuse

ENGLAND
The Telegraph

January 8, 2018

By Olivia Rudgard

Church-goers at mainstream churches have said they are being "spiritually abused" by leaders.

Research showed that more than 1,000 British Christians said they had experienced the abuse, which usually involves members invoking God's will or religious texts in order to punish or control and coerce a worshipper.

Two thirds of respondents to the survey carried out by Dr Lisa Oakley of the National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work at Bournemouth University said they had experienced spiritual abuse in the past.

Respondents said church leaders were also experiencing abuse from members of their own congregations.

Dr Oakley said: “There has been a focus in previous work in this area on leaders controlling and coercing those they lead, but a strong message in this research is that ministers and leaders also experience this form of abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:13 AM

January 8, 2018

Chiesa cattolica: 250 casi di abusi sessuali segnalati in sette anni

BERN (SWITZERLAND)
TIO

January 7, 2018

[Google Translate: About 250 sexual abuses by the clergy have been reported to the Swiss Catholic Church since 2010. The accusations range from unsolicited contact to rape. The cases occurred between 1950 and today, as revealed by Le Matin Dimanche and SonntagsZeitung. More than 140 children and young people and 88 adults are involved.]

La Conferenza dei vescovi svizzeri: «Il 10% dei casi si è verificato negli ultimi otto anni»

BERNA - Circa 250 abusi sessuali da parte del clero sono stati segnalati alla Chiesa cattolica svizzera dal 2010. Le accuse vanno dal contatto non richiesto fino allo stupro. I casi si sono verificati tra il 1950 e oggi, come rivelano Le Matin Dimanche e SonntagsZeitung. Sono coinvolti più di 140 fra bambini e giovani e 88 adulti.

«Il 10% dei casi si è verificato negli ultimi otto anni, le vittime sono tutte persone adulte», ha dichiarato la Conferenza dei vescovi svizzeri.

Le aggressioni più gravi sono perseguite d’ufficio, dopo che le autorità religiose informano la giustizia, come è d’obbligo dal 2014. Alcune di queste indagini, però, sono svolte solo da persone della Chiesa, per il bene delle vittime che non vogliono sporgere denuncia.

A questo proposito, i magistrati sono scettici e mettono in guardia dal rischio che tali indagini non siano condotte correttamente. Il procuratore di San Gallo, Elmar Tremp, ha affermato attraverso le colonne del domenicale tedesco che «i casi gravi devono essere affrontati seriamente», spiegando che il personale ecclesiastico non può agire attraverso atti coercitivi come le perquisizioni o i sequestri, a volte necessari per prevenire ulteriori abusi.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:59 PM

Pressuring harassers to quit can end up protecting them

WASHINGTON (D.C.)
The Washington Post

January 5, 2018

By Katherine Ku

Katherine Ku is a corporate and securities partner in the Los Angeles office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. She clerked for Kozinski from 2003 to 2004 and for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from 2004 to 2005.

When I learned that Judge Alex Kozinski was retiring, after more than a dozen women accused him of inappropriate conduct and sexualized comments, part of me was relieved.

I clerked for Kozinski in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit 14 years ago and found his chambers to be a hostile, demeaning and persistently sexualized environment. I had anticipated an arduous apprenticeship with this brilliant jurist and writer. I did not expect how controlling he would be: wanting to approve the location of my apartment, complaining when his clerks wanted salad for lunch instead of whatever he was having. On one occasion, he crumpled up a printout of an email draft and threw it at me. He regularly diminished women and their accomplishments; when discussing newly selected Supreme Court clerks, he surmised, using a vulgar term, that one was lesbian. On another day, he gestured for me to come over to the computer in his office and asked me to look at a photo — unrelated to any case we were working on — of a nude man. For the rest of my year-long clerkship, I closed the door to my office and communicated with the judge as little as possible.

My experience was mild, though, compared with what other women have reported: how Kozinski showed them pornography on multiple occasions and wanted to know if it turned them on, asked them what people like them did for sex, encouraged them to exercise naked, propositioned them for sex and groped them even after they said no. In his resignation letter, Kozinski wrote that he has “always had a broad sense of humor” but apologized that he “may not have been mindful enough of the special challenges and pressures that women face in the workplace.” (His lawyer declined to comment on the characterizations in this essay.)

I’m glad to see him leave the bench. He should not be in a position to judge cases, including those involving sexual harassment.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:56 PM

The Sexual Assault Epidemic No One Talks About

UNITED STATES
National Public Radio

January 8, 2018

By Joseph Shapiro

Editor's note: This report includes graphic and disturbing descriptions of assault.

SPECIAL SERIES: abused and betrayed: people with intellectual disabilities and an epidemic of sexual assault

Pauline wants to tell her story — about that night in the basement, about the boys and about the abuse she wanted to stop.

But she's nervous. "Take a deep breath," she says out loud to herself. She takes a deep and audible breath. And then she tells the story of what happened on the night that turned her life upside down.

"The two boys took advantage of me," she begins. "I didn't like it at all."

Pauline is a woman with an intellectual disability. At a time when more women are speaking up about sexual assault — and naming the men who assault or harass them — Pauline, too, wants her story told.

Her story, NPR found in a yearlong investigation, is a common one for people with intellectual disabilities.

NPR obtained unpublished Justice Department data on sex crimes. The results show that people with intellectual disabilities — women and men — are the victims of sexual assaults at rates more than seven times those for people without disabilities.

It's one of the highest rates of sexual assault of any group in America, and it's hardly talked about at all.

Pauline was part of that silent population. But she says she decided to speak publicly about what happened to her because she wants to "help other women."

NPR's investigation found that people with intellectual disabilities are at heightened risk during all parts of their day. They are more likely than others to be assaulted by someone they know. The assaults, often repeat assaults, happen in places where they are supposed to be protected and safe, often by a person they have been taught to trust and rely upon.

Pauline is 46, with a quick smile and an easy laugh. (NPR uses rape survivors' first name, unless they prefer their full name be used.) She has red hair and stylish, coppery-orange glasses.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:12 PM

Former Texas youth minister Andy Savage admits to sexual assault of teen girl

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

January 7, 2018

By Heather Leighton

A former youth minister at a church in The Woodlands is admitting to sexually assaulting a teen in his youth group in 1998.

Andy Savage, currently a teaching pastor at Highpoint Church in Memphis, has admitted to sexually assaulting Jules Woodson. The abuse occured when she was a 17-year-old youth member at Savage's former employer, The Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church, which is now known as Stonebridge Church.

In an open letter published on the blog Watch Keep, Woodson shared her story.

According to the woman's open letter, the incident occurred while Savage was giving her a ride back to her mom's house following a meeting at the church.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:53 PM

Memphis Megachurch Stands By Pastor Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Teenager

MEMPHIS (TN)
The Huffington Post

January 7, 2018

By Dominique Mosbergen

Andy Savage acknowledged the 1998 encounter and said he remains “very remorseful” for “the pain I caused.”

Responding to a recent report that one of their pastors had allegedly sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl while serving as a youth minister at his previous church, leaders of a megachurch in Memphis, Tennessee, said they’d long known about the incident.

“This information is not new to me or to our leadership,” Chris Conlee, the lead pastor of Highpoint Church, said in a statement Friday. Earlier that day, The Wartburg Watch, a Christian blog, had published the account of a woman who’d accused Andy Savage, teaching pastor at Highpoint, of sexually abusing her in the late 1990s when she was a teenager.

“On behalf of the elders, pastors, staff, and Trustees of Highpoint, I want to affirm that we are 100% committed to Andy [Savage] … and his continued ministry at Highpoint Church,” Conlee said, stressing his “total confidence in the redemptive process Andy went through” after the sexual encounter.

Savage, an author and podcast host, acknowledged the “sexual incident” in a statement of his own.

“I was and remain very remorseful for the incident and deeply regret the pain I caused her and her family, as well as the pain I caused the church and God’s Kingdom,” he said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:51 PM

Tennessee megachurch pastor accused of sexual assault

MEMPHIS (TN)
Fox13Memphis

January 7, 2018

A pastor of a Memphis, Tennessee, megachurch has been accused of sexual assault.

Andy Savage, of Highpoint Church, released a response to the accusations on social media platforms. Savage said he “had a sexual incident with a female high school senior" 20 years ago when he was a college student on staff at a Texas church.

He said he apologized immediately and asked for forgiveness from the victim, who was 17 at the time. Savage is coming forward after the woman shared her story on a blog, which is graphically detailed.

In the blog, the alleged victim detailed what happened and said she felt manipulated and used. She claimed she took her accusations to the church's leaders, but police were never called.

The blog also states she has recently filed a report with law enforcement, saying what happened to her was sexual assault.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:49 PM

Retired Vic priest in court over sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
9News

January 8, 2018

Men and women who were allegedly abused as children more than 30 years ago have begun giving evidence against a former Catholic priest accused of multiple child sex offences.

Retired priest Peter Maurice Waters, 72, appeared before Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday charged with 20 child sex offences between 1974 and 1987.

He is accused of sexually abusing six children.

Several complainants began giving evidence on Monday during a committal hearing that will determine whether Waters should stand trial.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:45 PM

Agencies work together to open Lenawee County Child Advocacy Center

ADRIAN (MI)
The Daily Telegram

January 7, 2018

By Lonnie Huhman

ADRIAN — Lenawee County finally has a service that it’s needed for a long time: a child advocacy center.

The Lenawee County Child Advocacy Center, a program of Catholic Charities of Jackson, Lenawee and Hillsdale Counties, announced Friday it will have a grand opening from 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 26. The ribbon cutting is at 4:30 p.m. The center is at 122 S. Broad St. in downtown Adrian.

“We’re excited about this because the community needs this,” said Sue Lewis, executive director for Catholic Charities of Jackson, Lenawee and Hillsdale Counties.

Lewis said the LCCAC is there to provide solutions to the increasing problem of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse in the Lenawee County community.

“I think the community needs to be aware these issues exist and why this center is needed,” Lewis said.

The center is a collaboration of the Lenawee County Prosecutor’s Office, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Child Protective Services, Lenawee Community Mental Health Authority, all law enforcement agencies in Lenawee County, ProMedica, the University of Michigan Child Protection Team and Catholic Charities. Leaders from these organizations make up the LCCAC steering committee.

“This truly is a community collaboration,” Lewis said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:43 PM

Nichols probe: Loophole doesn't require private schools to report sexual misconduct

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

January 7, 2018

By Dan Herbeck

Three former administrators from Nichols School were criticized in an investigators' report for failing to take action against teachers involved in sexual misconduct or inappropriate relationships with their students.

If the administrators worked in public school systems, New York state laws would have required them to report such allegations immediately to law enforcement.

But because of a loophole in state law, there is no such requirement for administrators at private schools like Nichols.

"For a public school administrator, it's a crime not to report it. For a private school administrator, there's no law against failing to report it," said Stephen P. Forrester, director of government relations for the not-for-profit New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. "There is a huge loophole in state law, and it's long overdue to fix it."

Forrester and his organization are working with legislators on a proposed state law that would put the same requirements on private school administrators. One of the proposed law's big supporters is Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn.

Thousands of children who attend private schools throughout the state deserve the same protections as children in public schools, Flynn said.

"This is an issue that I have thought about since I first took office," Flynn said. "It's absolutely wrong, and I absolutely support changes in the law."

Flynn's comments came one day after Nichols released a report detailing its investigation into 10 teachers who had improper relationships with students over more than four decades. Nichols hired a Washington law firm to investigate last May after receiving a letter from Elizabeth Russ Mohr, a 1994 Nichols graduate who reported having a romantic and sexual relationship with her physics teacher at the school. Mohr was 17 at the time of the affair, and the teacher, Arthur Budington, was 48.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:40 PM

George Pell accuser dies before cardinal faces child sexual abuse trial

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

January 7, 2018

By Melissa Davey

Damian Dignan alleged Pell sexually assaulted him while he was a student in Ballarat East, which Pell denies

A man who publicly accused Australia’s most senior Catholic cardinal, George Pell, of child sexual abuse has died following a long illness.

Damian Dignan, who lived in the Victorian town of Ballarat, made allegations which were strenuously denied by Pell.

Dignan was one of a number of complainants who made allegations against Pell of historical sexual offences.

Dignan’s death was confirmed by his former partner, Sharon Rixon. “It is with great sadness that my best friend and the father of my children has passed away today,” she wrote on Facebook. “I will continue to love and guide and support our children through this difficult time.”

QC and former chief Victorian magistrate and crown prosecutor, Nicholas Papas, told Guardian Australia that Dignan’s death would affect the structure of Pell’s upcoming court case in Melbourne.

“The death of a witness if generally very serious and can affect whether the case proceeds or not,” he said. “But it’s not as simple as that, as there may be other evidence or witnesses. In a murder case, for example, the victim is obviously never there and yet a case can proceed. So it’s not that it’s unusual for witnesses to be dead, but in a case where an allegation involved historic sexual assault and there may be no other direct witnesses to that abuse, it can seriously affect the case.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:27 PM

Trust in clergy in US declines to historic low, Gallup poll finds

UNITED STATES
The Christian Times

January 8, 2018

By Jardine Malado

A recent Gallup poll has found that less than half of Americans believe that clergy members are honest and have high ethical standards.

The poll, titled "Americans' Ratings of Honesty and Ethical Standards in Professions," has revealed that trust in the clergy has declined from a high of 67 percent in 1985 to its lowest rating of 42 percent in 2017.

The number of people who have said that clergy has "very high" or "high" honesty standards have dropped precipitously in 2002 amid the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. The clergy's ratings recovered slightly in the next few years, but it fell to 50 percent in 2009, and it has declined steadily since that time.

Clergy have been ranked behind judges (43 percent), day care providers (46 percent), police officers (56 percent), pharmacists (62 percent), medical doctors (65 percent), grade school teachers (66 percent), military officers (71 percent), and nurses (82 percent) as the most honest and ethical profession.

Religious breakdowns of the data provided to Christianity Today indicated that self-identified Christians are almost twice as likely to still have faith in religious leaders. Almost half of 776 Christian respondents said pastors had high ethical standards, but only a quarter of 236 non-Christian respondents agreed.

Non-Christians are more likely to trust grade school teachers, judges and newspaper reporters, while Christians are more likely to trust police officers, auto mechanics and business executives.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:25 PM

National childcare register: Dodgy operators named and shamed online

QUEENSLAND (AUSTRALIA)
The Courier-Mail

January 5, 2018

By Matthew Killoran

A CHILDCARE centre operated by a Pentecostal church and linked to a child sex abuse case is one of the Queensland centres that will today be named and shamed by the Federal Government for dodgy practices.

For the first time, childcare providers barred or suspended from receiving government rebates after breaking the rules or ripping off taxpayers and parents will be named in an online register to be published today.

There have been 21 sanctions and payment cancellations slapped on Queensland childcare centres since July 2016, including penalties for fraudulent claims, not passing on subsidies or falsifying records.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:24 PM

‘Their time is up’: Oprah’s inspiring Golden Globes speech

UNITED STATES
The Irish Times

January 8, 2018

‘A new day is on the horizon’: Oprah Winfrey thanks those who shared abuse stories

Oprah Winfrey became the first black woman to be awarded a Golden Globe for lifetime achievement on Sunday, delivering an impassioned speech in support of those who have exposed sexual misconduct in Hollywood and beyond.

Actor, movie and television producer, and chief executive of cable channel OWN, Winfrey (63) was celebrated as a role model for women and a person who has promoted strong female characters.

Her honour came in a year when the awards show, Hollywood’s first leading up to the Oscars, was dominated by a scandal that has seen the downfall of dozens of powerful men as women break years of silence.

Winfrey, who along with most of the show’s other attendees donned a black gown to show support for victims of sexual misconduct, was the first black woman to receive the annual Cecil B De Mille award, joining the likes of Meryl Streep, Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand and Sophia Loren.

Winfrey used her speech to praise women who have shared their stories of sexual harassment and abuse, and to declare that “a new day is on the horizon” for girls and women.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:22 PM

Lawsuits: Brouillard abused boys in plain view of other victims

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

January 8, 2018

By Haidee V. Eugenio

Three more men have come forward to accuse former Guam priest Louis Brouillard of sexually abusing them when they were children, according to lawsuits filed Friday afternoon in the Superior Court of Guam. One man said he was abused weekly for a year.

A fourth accuser, who had sued Brouillard and the church in September, filed an amended lawsuit Friday in Superior Court, providing more details about the alleged sexual assault.

The three new lawsuits accuse Brouillard, who also was a scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America, of abusing the plaintiffs during Boy Scouts swimming trips. The plaintiffs also state they saw Brouillard abuse other boys during those trips and on church grounds.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:18 PM

Opinion: It’s Time To Stop Singing Shlomo Carlebach’s Songs

NEW YORK (NY)
Forward

Originally Published on December 7, 2017

By Sharon Rose Goldtzvik

I can’t walk into any synagogue in America – and barely any synagogue in the world – without hearing songs written by the man who sexually assaulted my mother.

That’s because my mom is one of the many of girls and young women whom Shlomo Carlebach sexually harassed, assaulted or abused while he traveled the country performing his music.

In 1998, Lilith Magazine published a longform article about Carlebach’s history of sexual abuse, documenting testimonies from women he abused. I first read the article when I was around 16. That’s when I finally understood that my mom’s story was just one of many, and the problem was much bigger than I could have imagined.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:14 PM

Ex vittima di un prete accusa il Papa:«Perchè ha fatto scadere la Commissione anti abusi?»

ITALY
Il Messaggero

January 5, 2018

di Franca Giansoldati

[Google Translate: A former victim of a priest accuses the Pope: "Why did he expel the anti-abuse commission?"]

CITTA' DEL VATICANO - Marie Collins stavolta punta il dito contro Papa Francesco per avere fatto scadere la Pontificia Commissione per la Tutela dei Minori senza avere ancora provveduto a rinnovarla e a nominare nuovi membri. Collins è una mite signora irlandese, abusata da un prete quando aveva 13 anni, e da anni impegnata in una complicata battaglia perchè la Chiesa possa dotarsi al suo interno di una maggiore consapevolezza di questa piaga, a cominciare dai danni che subiscono per sempre i bambini abusati. Nel 2014 fu chiamata a fare parte della Pontificia Commissione (scaduta il 17 dicembre) ma poi da quell'incarico si è dimessa con una lunga scia di polemiche dopo avere misurato troppe omissioni da parte della struttura centrale della curia. Marie Collins chiedeva venisse istituito una specie di tribunale per i vescovi insabbiatori, coloro che avevano dato copertura ai preti pedofili per evitare scandali (un po' quello che aveva fatto il cardinale Law a Boston).

«Al momento la Commissione è solo sulla carta, un nome vuoto, perchè di fatto non è stato ancora nominato nessun membro» dice attraverso Twitter. Il Papa alla fine di dicembre ha assicurato il cardinale O'Malley, presidente della Commissione, che la struttura avrebbe continuato a lavorare come prima. Padre Hans Zoellner, il gesuita della Gregoriana in prima linea sul tema degli abusi, ripete che le nomine sono ancora al vaglio e che la struttura continuerà il lavoro di sempre. Chi ne farà parte resta un mistero e padre Zollner non si vuole sbilanciare. Di fatto la Commissione voluta da Bergoglio come simbolo del cammino fatto in merito alla tolleranza zero comincia a fare riflettere. Prima dell'addio della Collins un'altra vittima, Peter Saunders aveva sbattuto la porta e se ne era andato polemicamente accusando persino Papa Francesco di avanzare lentamente e senza troppa convinzione.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:50 PM

Sale of Yona seminary could help church's considerable legal fees

GUAM
KUAM News

January 8, 2018

By Krystal Paco

Those pursuing priesthood will have to go elsewhere for their education. This after the seminary officially closed doors late last month. What comes next, hopefully, will help the church with paying down millions in clergy sexual abuse lawsuits.

A new year brings big changes to the Church.

"By January 1, Archbishop (Michael) Byrnes had in his hands officially the keys to the entire facility," said Tony Diaz, the archdiocese's director of communications, referring to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary. Mid-December marked their final semester after nearly two decades in existence. "It has officially ended as far as the formation and academics. No more seminarians down there are undergoing formation," he said.

Up to 20 seminarians, all affiliated with the Neocatechumenal Way, will have to continue their studies elsewhere and on someone else's dime. "The seminary has ceased formation and these young men are on their own with the help of their groups," he said. "They're moving on to other seminaries elsewhere, off-island. We pray for them. The archbishop, when he made the announcement; he said he was committed to helping these young men who would continue their studies elsewhere."

Late last year, Archbishop Byrnes announced closure of the seminary and reported the model just wasn't working for Guam. The Church, instead, will send those pursuing priesthood to seminaries off-island. Diaz confirms the Church is funding the education for three young men who are currently attending St. Patrick's Seminary and University in Menlo Park, California.

With the seminary closed, the real work can begin on the property itself.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:30 PM

Two-thirds say they have suffered 'spiritual abuse' in churches and Christian organisations

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Christian Today

January 8, 2018

By Harry Farley

Two-thirds of churchgoers have been spiritually abused, according to research on behalf of the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS).

Pointing to characteristics such as 'coercion and control, manipulation and pressuring of individuals, control through the misuse of religious texts and scripture and providing a "divine" rationale for behaviour', 1,002 out of 1,591 respondents to an online survey said they had suffered from 'spiritual abuse'.

However caution was urged in response to the results which made up part of a report, Understanding Spiritual Abuse in Christian Communities, published by CCPAS on Sunday.

Although 74 per cent of respondents said they were confident they knew what 'spiritual abuse' meant, the report admits that work around the issue 'is still in its infancy' and 'there is not currently universal agreement about this as a term'.

Co-author, Justin Humphreys, executive director of safeguarding at CCPAS, said: 'Yes, the results are significant, as [being spiritually abused] was not a prerequisite for participation. Having said this, in some ways it is not surprising, as many will have taken this as an opportunity to share their story in anonymous form, possibly for the first time.'

Led by academics from Bournemouth University under Dr Lisa Oakley, the study called for an agreed-upon definition. 'The results show that there is a need for a clear definition of spiritual abuse and that defining this term is complex,' the report said.

While 64 per cent of participants were confident they could respond well to a disclosure of spiritual abuse, only 33 per cent said their church or Christian organisation had a policy that included spiritual abuse and only 24 per cent had received training on spiritual abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:20 PM

Four lawsuits filed citing church sex abuse

GUAM
KUAM News

January 8, 2018

By Krystal Paco

Four new clergy sexual abuse victims file lawsuits in the Superior Court of Guam.

Only identified by their initials to protect their privacy, M.W.M., G.C., M.M., and A.E.P. all allege they were molested and sexually abused by former Guam priest and boy scout master, Father Louis Brouillard.

Each complaint details abuse occurring on church grounds where the priest routinely exposed himself in front of the boys and exposed them to adult magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse.

During Boy Scout outings, plaintiffs report the priest would reward them with McDonalds or other dining experiences as well as merit badges if they swam naked.

He also reportedly took pictures of them nude and swimming without their consent.

The victims today range in age from 53 to 61 years old.

Each is suing for $5 million and is represented by Attorney Michael Berman.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:18 PM

Church in Scotland criticized for not meeting abuse victim groups

SCOTLAND
Crux

January 8, 2018

The author of an independent review of the child protection policies of the Catholic Church in Scotland has said he is “disappointed” in the progress the bishops are making in meeting victims and survivors of clerical sexual abuse.

Rev. Andrew McLellan, the former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, was asked in 2013 to chair an interdenominational commission looking at the issue of child protection in Scotland’s Catholic Church.

The McLellan Report, presenting the findings of the commission, was published in 2015, and said, “Support for the survivors of abuse must be an absolute priority for the Catholic Church in Scotland in the field of safeguarding. The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland should make a public apology to all survivors of abuse within the Church.”

In August 2015, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, Archbishop of Glasgow and president of the Scottish bishops’ conference, said the bishops were “shamed and pained” by clerical sexual abuse and offered a “profound apology” on behalf of the bishops.

“After Archbishop Tartaglia’s public apology, which he did so well, there was a long hard silence, and I was very disappointed in terms of the progress the bishops were making,” McLellan told the Sunday Herald, a Scottish newspaper.

McLellan, who once served as the Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland, said he was pleased with certain areas of progress, like the promised publication of a new safeguarding manual, but said meeting with victims is the priority.

“When our report was published there was a sense that there was a new mood in the Church and it was determined to turn its back on these unhappy practices. I’m astonished that it has taken so long to establish contact with survivor groups,” he told the newspaper.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:15 PM

Pope Francis' trip to Chile, Peru may help restore trust in church

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

January 8, 2018

By Joshua J. McElwee

This article appears in the Francis in Chile and Peru feature series. View the full series.

Pope Francis' most recent foreign trips have seen him tackle some of the world's most difficult geopolitical issues. In September, he traveled to Colombia to back an unpopular peace deal with guerilla militants. In November, he went to Myanmar to focus global attention on the government's persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority.

Now, the pope is preparing to embark on a trip to Chile and Peru that may shift the focus from politics to problems inside the church community.

Local observers and prominent expatriate voices say attention during the Jan. 15-21 visit may center on how Francis can help the Chilean church regain trustworthiness after a recent spate of cases of clergy sexual abuse.

Complicating that possibility, the observers say, is Francis' own record on the abuse issue, especially his 2015 appointment of Bishop Juan Barros Madrid of Osorno, Chile. Barros has been accused of covering up abuse by a prominent priest in the 1980s and '90s.

Mario Paredes, who has advised both the Vatican and the U.S. bishops on Latin American issues for decades, told NCR he hoped the pope could help Chile's hierarchy "restore credibility that in recent years it has lost."

"No matter how you look at it, those cases have been horrendous, scandalous, and the church has lost credibility," said Paredes, a Chile native who is now CEO of Advocate Community Partners, a network of primary care physicians in New York City. "I expect that he will make a strong appeal for a church that is really transparent [and] truthful."

But Jesuit Fr. Antonio Delfau, the former longtime editor of Chile's Jesuit-run Mensaje magazine, said the Barros appointment undercuts what Francis might be able to achieve while in the country.

"One of the bishops appointed by this pope is a bishop that is questioned ... not only by the people of the place but also by most of the other bishops," said Delfau, now based in Rome as the assistant to the Jesuit curia's general treasurer. "That's a big problem."

Barros, who served as the head of Chile's military diocese until Francis moved him to the small southern city of Osorno in 2015, has been accused of protecting Fr. Fernando Karadima, who was sentenced by the Vatican to a life of prayer and penance in 2011.

Though Barros was not implicated in Karadima's canonical trial, victims say the bishop destroyed incriminating correspondence from the priest. Other victims claim Barros was even a witness to some of the sexual abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:50 AM

January 7, 2018

Catholic church in Switzerland still dealing with abuse claims

BERN (SWITZERLAND)
SwissInfo

January 7, 2018

Some 250 cases of sexual harassment within the Catholic church in Switzerland have been reported since 2010, according to media reports. A sizeable number involve abuse cases against adults.

The information was first revealed on Wednesday on local radio station Rhône FM, and was reported again in several Sunday newspapers.

According to Le Matin Dimanche, which followed up on statistics released by the Conference of Swiss Bishops, some 10% of the 250 incidents have taken place since 2010; the rest date back as far as 1950.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:47 PM

A sickness has infected the Catholic church in Scotland

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

January 6, 2018

By Kevin McKenna

[Note: See the McLennan Commission report. See also McKenna's The Catholic church must think upon its sins.]

Not an ounce of compassion has been shown to survivors of sex abuse; if the hierarchy doesn’t wake up the church will not survive in the 21st century

The dawn of the new year brought with it an old tale with some familiar themes for the Catholic church in Scotland. These included an attitude towards some of its most vulnerable and damaged members that bordered on callous.

It was revealed that more than two years after the conclusion of the McLellan report into historical sex abuse in the church no contact has been made with victims’ groups. The report was compiled and delivered by the Very Reverend Dr Andrew McLellan, a former moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. He expressed astonishment at the Catholic hierarchy’s conduct.

McLellan’s report reviewed child protection and safeguarding policies and the church’s leaders greeted it with apparent humility and honeyed phrases. The archbishop of Glasgow, Philip Tartaglia, issued what sounded like a genuine and heartfelt apology. Two years on, his contrite tone rings hollow in the ears of many survivors of sex abuse in the Catholic church.

The Catholic church’s response is pitiless: why are you making trouble now, so long after the event?

The clumsy attempt by the church to ridicule McLellan’s claims was chillingly familiar to those who have found themselves on its wrong side in recent years. A spokesperson said this: “Crucially, no individual or organisation has a monopoly on survivor representation or interaction. Contact with survivors, by its nature confidential, is taking place across the church. Many survivors do not identify with or join national groups and such groups should not presume to speak for them.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:04 AM

Damian Dignan, who publicly accused Cardinal George Pell of sexual abuse, has died

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
Herald Sun

January 7, 2018

By Chanel Kinniburgh

One of the men who publicly accused Cardinal George Pell of sexual abuse has died.

Damian Dignan of Ballarat reportedly lost his battle to a long-term illness on Saturday.

His “best friend” and former partner Sharon Rixon said Mr Dignan had “the biggest heart” and loved their children unconditionally.

“It is with great sadness that my best friend and the father of my children has passed away today,” Ms Rixon posted to Facebook late on Saturday night.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:00 AM

January 6, 2018

Waterford bishop warns local schools of paedophile ex-priest's 'recent activities'

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Journal

January 5, 2018

[Note: This article includes a screenshot of a portion of the bishop's letter.]

In a letter sent out before Christmas, the Bishop said that convicted paedophile Oliver O’Grady was “seeking victims in our midst”.

The bishop Waterford and Lismore has sent a letter to local primary schools and teachers warning them about a convicted paedophile ex-priest who is living in the Waterford city area.

The letter concerned Oliver O’Grady, who admitted to sexually abusing children while serving as a parish priest in California from 1973 onwards.

In 1993 he was convicted for molesting two brothers over a 10-year period while in the US, and served a seven-year sentence before being deported back to Ireland.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:59 AM

Former priest pleads guilty in child sex case

GLENS FALLS (NY)
Post Star

January 5, 2018

By Don Lehman

Ballston Spa - A defrocked former Catholic priest who lived at a “retreat” in Washington County pleaded guilty Friday to two felony charges for having sexual contact with an underage boy.

Michael R. Hands, 51, pleaded guilty to counts of third-degree criminal sexual act for sexual contact with a child younger than the age of 17 in the town of Charlton last July. He had also been accused of sharing pornography with the teen.

The charges were brought because the teen was too young to legally consent to sexual relations.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:52 AM

Review: Into Silence and Servitude – How American Girls Became Nuns, 1945-1965 by Brian Titley

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

January 6, 2018

By Catriona Crowe

This a well-researched, vividly written account of a cohort of women who had great influence on female life in America

Nuns are in the air. In Alice McDermott’s recently published eighth novel, The Ninth Hour, much of the plot centres on a community of nuns, the Little Nursing Sisters of the Sick Poor, dedicated to caring for New York’s needy population. Netflix recently had a hit with The Keepers, which explores the unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, who taught English and drama at Baltimore’s Archbishop Keough High School, and her former students’ belief that there was a cover-up by authorities after Cesnik suspected that a priest at the school, A Joseph Maskell, was guilty of sexual abuse. And The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s 1985 book recently made into a riveting TV series, mimics the hierarchical structures of convent life with its dystopian Handmaids, Marthas and Aunts.

Brian Titley’s Into Silence and Servitude examines the mechanisms through which young American girls and women became nuns between 1945 and 1965. He chose this time period because it was during these years that the greatest number of girls attended Catholic schools, and the greatest numbers became nuns. The period also covers the timespan between the end of the second World War and the second Vatican Council.

Titley takes us through the various phases of formation for nuns: aspirancies, high schools for boarders dedicated to attracting young girls to convent life; postulancy, their first introduction to life as a nun; the novitiate, a period of intensive religious training leading to reception and profession of vows.

The Catholic church was seriously opposed to the American public school system, and set up its own network of Catholic elementary and high schools, where religion was an integral part of the curriculum. As Baby Boom children began to appear after 1945, it was clear that the church would need to increase its school network, and that it would need large numbers of new recruits to religious life to staff it. Teaching nuns were cheap: they did not get a salary, and were prepared to suffer onerous working conditions which would not have been tolerated by their secular colleagues.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:44 AM

Training sessions to help tackle high rate of rape, sexual assault on Guam

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

January 6, 2018

By Haidee V. Eugenio

With Guam having the second-highest number of rape per capita in the nation, advocates against sexual assault and family violence want to help change that by organizing training sessions this month on prevention and addressing cases.

Guam's only rape crisis center, Healing Hearts Crisis Center, reported serving 903 victims of sexual assault between 2008 and 2015, according to the Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence.

In 2015, the rape crisis center served 137 victims. Seventy-seven percent of them were minors, the coalition said.

The national rate for reported rape is 25.2 per 100,000 people. But on Guam, there are 64.2 reported rapes per 100,000 people, the coalition previously stated.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:41 AM

Audit finds archdiocese ‘substantially compliant’ with clergy abuse settlement terms

ST. PAUL (MN)
Pioneer Press

January 5, 2018

By Sarah Horner

Former Hennepin County Attorney Thomas Johnson stood inside the Ramsey County District Courthouse on Friday morning and rattled off his email address and cellphone number to a handful of reporters gathered nearby.

Then he made the unusual request of asking the media to share his personal contact information with the public.

That’s the only way Johnson can do what the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office have collectively asked him to do: Serve as an independent and ongoing point-of-contact for victims of clergy sexual abuse seeking help and a confidential ear.

Little Canada woman charged after husband found with intestines exposed New Year’s Day
Ramsey County authorities say missing 16-year-old from Little Canada has been found safe
The new ombudsman role is voluntary and self-led, meaning Johnson won’t be answering to anyone or picking up a paycheck.

Standing alongside Archbishop Bernard Hebda and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, Johnson said he wants to help those affected by the decades of clergy abuse within the archdiocese and help ensure the climate changes.

Johnson spoke on the same day the archdiocese released to the courts the results of the first of three court-ordered independent audits aimed at assessing the archdiocese’s compliance with the settlement agreement reached with the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office in 2015 over its handling of sexual abuse claims.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:37 AM

Bishop warns parishioners about 'extremely dangerous' paedophile ex priest living 150 yards from primary school

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Mirror

January 5, 2018

By Ciaran Murphy

A bishop has warned parishioners about “an extremely dangerous paedophile” ex-priest who lives about 150 yards from a primary school.

Convicted paedophile Oliver O’Grady, 72, originally from Limerick, now lives near six schools and a Montessori in the heart of Waterford city.

The sicko was convicted for raping and abusing at least 25 children in California from 1973 onwards.

Astonishingly, O’Grady lives close to an all-boys primary school.

He is also within a kilometre of two other primary schools, two secondary schools, a Montessori school and a primary and secondary school that share the same grounds.

Meanwhile, children regularly use a playground about 300 yards away from his front door.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:16 AM

First clergy abuse lawsuit of 2018 seeks $10M: 151 cases filed so far

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

January 5, 2018

By Mindy Aguon

A former altar boy and Boy Scout has filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America and retired priest Louis Brouillard alleging he was sexually abused in 1958.

G.M., who used initials to protect his identity, alleges Brouillard sexually molested and abused him during Boy Scout outings and while he was an altar boy.

The civil complaint, filed by G.M.'s attorney, David Lujan, alleges one night during confession when G.M. was 15 years old, Brouillard summoned him to sit next to him and then allegedly started fondling the teen and then sexually abused him.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:12 AM

Kansas priest will not return to parish after hiking trip with children

WICHITA (KS)
Wichita Eagle

January 5, 2018

By Stan Finger and Katherine Burgess

A Catholic priest removed from the pulpit after taking a group of boys on an unsupervised hike in October will not return to the parish, Bishop Carl Kemme announced in a letter to parishioners in Conway Springs.

The Catholic Diocese of Wichita would not comment on or confirm Friday the news about the Rev. Andrew Seiler, who was removed from St. Joseph Catholic Church in Conway Springs in mid-October after the incident. Being alone with a minor goes against behavioral boundaries set by the diocese.

“Based on my own meetings at the parish ... as well as letters and emails I have received since then, I understand that some will agree with this decision and others will not,” Kemme’s letter to the parish states. “In the end, I have come to the conclusion that it would be best for everyone involved if St. Joseph Parish received a new pastor at this time.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:08 AM

Bishop's letter to schools warns of 'dangerous paedophile priest'

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Independent

January 6, 2018

By Sarah MacDonald

Concerns have been expressed over the lack of supervision of a notorious paedophile former priest whom the Catholic Bishop of Waterford and Lismore has warned is "extremely dangerous" and is "actively seeking victims".

Clerical abuse survivor Marie Collins paid tribute to Bishop Phonsie Cullinan for a letter he sent to priests and schools in his diocese just before Christmas about convicted paedophile Oliver O'Grady, who is living in Waterford city.

In the letter, Dr Cullinan attached a photo of the former cleric who served in the US and said he had informed gardaí of his recent activities in the locality.

He asked the letter's recipients to advise all parish groups, especially those working in any way with children, to be "aware that this man continues to be an evil menace to innocent children".

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Ms Collins, a survivor of clerical abuse and former member of the Vatican's Commission for the Protection of Minors, commended Bishop Cullinan.

"While it is good to see the bishop issuing this warning and passing on his concerns to gardaí, I would ask who is monitoring this very dangerous paedophile?"

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:03 AM

Ex-priest admits to new abuse in Saratoga County

ALBANY (NY)
Times-Union

January 5, 2018

By Robert Gavin

Ballston Spa – A former priest convicted of molesting a 13-year-old boy on Long Island in 2003 pleaded guilty Friday to sexually attacking a new young victim on two occasions in Saratoga County.

Michael Hands, 51, admitted to two counts of third-degree criminal sex act, the legal name for sodomy. He faces 7 to 8 years in prison at his March 2 sentencing by Saratoga County Judge James A. Murphy III.

The age and sex of the victim were not disclosed. Hands admitted he engaged in sexual contact with a child younger than 17 in July in the town of Charlton.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:59 AM

January 5, 2018

Archdiocese of Boston Reaches Settlement with Victim of Priest in Jamaica Plain

BOSTON (MA)
Jamaica Plain News

January 5, 2018

By David Ertischek

The Archdiocese of Boston has reached a five-figure settlement with a man, who as a boy, was sexually abused by a priest at the St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Jamaica Plain in the 1970s.

When he was approximately from the ages of 10 to 13, William Brown was sexually abused by Father Arnold Kelley, who now lives in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Brown was a parishioner, band member and religious education student (CCD) at St. Aquinas Parish (located at 97 South St.). Kelley was assigned to the St. Aquinas Parish from 1966 to 1976.

Brown filed a civil lawsuit in the Essex County Superior Court in 2016 after coming forward alleging that Kelley sexually abused him from 1973 to 1976.

As early as 1997, the Archdiocese of Boston was made aware of sexual abuse allegations by a child against Kelley at St. Rita’s Parish in Lowell. A media conference announcing the settlement was held on the sidewalk outside of St. Rita’s on Jan. 3rd.

“My client, by coming forward, is creating transparency which the Catholic Church should create but refuses to. In doing so William Brown is empowering himself, other victims and making the world a safer place for children,” said Mitchell Garabedian, Brown’s attorney. “This is another example of purportedly the most moral institution in the world acting the most immorally.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:23 PM

"Don Euro", chiesto il rinvio a giudizio per il sacerdote e per il vescovo

ITALY
La Nazione

January 5, 2018

By Maria Nudi

[Google Translate: Massa, 5 January 2018 - For the investigation of alleged "cheerful" expenses of Don Luca Morini , parish priest of Massa Carrara, renamed also "don Euro", the prosecution has asked for the trial of the priest and also of the bishop of Massa Carrara and Pontremoli, Monsignor Giovanni Santucci . The position of Bishop Santucci, however, "within our investigations is still marginal, " according to what was said by the attorney of Massa Aldo Giubilaro.]

Chiesto il processo anche per un ex sacerdote

Massa, 5 gennaio 2018 - Per l'inchiesta sulle presunte spese "allegre" di don Luca Morini, parroco di Massa Carrara ribattezzato anche "don Euro", la Procura ha chiesto il rinvio a giudizio del sacerdote e anche del vescovo di Massa Carrara e Pontremoli, monsignor Giovanni Santucci. La posizione del vescovo Santucci, tuttavia, "all'interno delle nostre indagini risulta comunque marginale", secondo quanto ha detto il procuratore di Massa Aldo Giubilaro .

Chiesto il processo anche per un ex sacerdote, Emiliano Colombo. Diverse le ipotesi di reato contestate agli indagati. Per Morini, parroco prima ad Avenza poi di Fossone e Caniparola, il processo è stato chiesto per truffa ed estorsione nei confronti dei fedeli, al vescovo contestata la frode e l'estorsione in relazione a presunte pressioni che avrebbe fatto su un'assicurazione per concedere a "don Euro" un punteggio di invalidità superiore al dovuto e per un passaggio di denaro dal conto della Curia a quello del parroco.

Ricettazione infine l'ipotesi di reato per Colombo accusato dalla procura di aver aiutato Morini a nascondere soldi sul suo conto. La vicenda parte nel 2015 quando un escort napoletano rivelò alla stampa il suo rapporto con don Morini, parlando di grandi disponibilità economiche del parroco. Arrivarono poi tante denunce dei fedeli sull'impiego, a scopi personali, delle offerte.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:48 PM

Feste, lusso, escort gay: le spese pazze del parroco con i soldi delle offerte

ITALY
Secolo d'Italia

January 5, 2018

[Google Translate: The Massa Carrara Public Prosecutor's Office , as part of the investigation into alleged "cheerful" expenses of Fr. Luca Morini, a 56-year-old from Pontasserchi, parish priest in the Apuan province, nicknamed "don Euro", has requested that the priest, the bishop of Massa Carrara and Pontremoli, Monsignor Giovanni Santucci, and former priest, Emiliano Colombo. The news has been announced today Il Tirreno. The confirmation came then from the Massa Carrara Public Prosecutor's Office. The attorney of Massa, Aldo Giubilaro, however, stressed that the position of Monsignor Giovanni Santucci, "within our investigations is still marginal". From the diocese, with a note, it was underlined that "in relation to the news on the request for indictment for the bishop of the diocese of Massa Carrara and Pontremoli, it is specified that today Monsignor Giovanni Santucci has not received any official communication from the power of attorney, either directly or through their lawyers, about the charges that are challenged ».}

La Procura di Massa Carrara, nell’ambito dell’inchiesta sulle presunte spese ”allegre” di don Luca Morini, 56enne di Pontasserchi, parroco nella provincia apuana, soprannominato “don Euro”, ha chiesto il rinvio a giudizio del sacerdote, del vescovo di Massa Carrara e Pontremoli, monsignor Giovanni Santucci, e dell’ex prete, Emiliano Colombo. Ne ha dato notizia oggi Il Tirreno . La conferma è arrivata poi dalla Procura di Massa Carrara. Il procuratore di Massa, Aldo Giubilaro, ha comunque sottolineato che la posizione di monsignor Giovanni Santucci, «all’interno delle nostre indagini risulta comunque marginale»”. Dalla diocesi, con una nota, è stato sottolineato che «in relazione alle notizie sulla richiesta di rinvio a giudizio per il vescovo della diocesi di Massa Carrara e Pontremoli, si precisa che ad oggi monsignor Giovanni Santucci non ha ricevuto alcuna comunicazione ufficiale da parte della procura, né direttamente né attraverso i propri legali, circa gli addebiti che gli vengono contestati».

L’inchiesta parte nel 2015 quando un escort napoletano rivelò alla stampa il suo rapporto con don Morini, parlando di grandi disponibilità economiche del parroco, che partecipava a feste su yacht, compra scarpe di lusso e che avrebbe persino tenuto un “tesoretto” Arrivarono poi tante denunce dei fedeli sull’impiego, a scopi personali, delle offerte. Diverse le ipotesi di reato contestate agli indagati. Per Morini, parroco prima ad Avenza poi di Fossone e Caniparola, il processo è stato chiesto per truffa ed estorsione nei confronti dei fedeli, al vescovo contestata la frode e l’estorsione in relazione a presunte pressioni che avrebbe fatto su un’assicurazione per concedere a don Morini un punteggio di invalidità superiore al dovuto e per un passaggio di denaro dal conto della Curia a quello del parroco. Ricettazione infine l’ipotesi di reato per Colombi, accusato dalla procura di aver aiutato Morini a nascondere soldi sul suo conto.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:45 PM

Settlements with insurers pivotal for bankrupt Duluth diocese-lawyer

DULUTH (MN)
Reuters

January 4, 2018

By Jim Christie

The judge overseeing the bankruptcy of the Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota is expected to soon approve settlements between the Roman Catholic diocese and two of its insurers which will raise nearly $10 million, mostly for victims of clergy sex abuse, a lawyer for the diocese said on Wednesday.

The bulk of the money will come from a settlement with the Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America. It will set aside $8.95 million for victims in a reorganization of diocese’s finances.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:41 PM

PRIEST ACCUSED OF ABUSING BOYS IN OC IN THE 80S TURNS UP IN PERU

LOS ANGELES (CA)
L.A. Taco

January 5, 2018

By Gustavo Arellano

A former Catholic priest in heavily brown SoCal parishes who was listed among alleged child abusers in 2004 has turned up a remote port city in Peru.

The former priest, Horacio Edgardo Arrunátegui Jimenez, appears in a Peruvian television magazine investigation that aired last month confirming that the long-hiding priest was happily posted in Chimbote, on Peru’s northern coast, serving as a hospital chaplain under the auspices of the local diocese.

Jimenez has been moving around between assignments in his native Peru and in Spain since he was abruptly removed from the ministry in Orange County. He was a popular priest in the late 1980s and early 1990s at the largely Latino parishes of St. Mary in Fullerton and St. Anthony Claret in Anaheim (yes, in Orange County).

And then he disappeared.

Diocesan officials told shocked parishioners back then that Jimenez had left on a missionary assignment, but they finally revealed the truth in 2004, in a press release that revealed all Orange County priests removed from ministry after “credible allegations” of child sexual abuse.

Those names were submitted to the John Jay College of Criminal Justice as part of the school’s pioneering 2004 study into the Catholic Church pedophile priest scandal. Jimenez was the only priest named who was not part of a $100 million settlement the Orange diocese reached with over 90 victims in 2005 — at that time, the largest settlement in the history of the American Catholic Church.

Now, Cuarto Poder — something like the 60 Minutes of Peru — has tracked down Jimenez to Chimbote. The report revealed that Jimenez had bounced around the world after Orange County by using different iterations of his full name. Horacio Jiménez in one country, Edgardo Arrunategui in another, and so forth. At one point in the report, a Cuarto Poder correspondent catches up with Jimenez as he is entering his home — accompanied by what the narrator drolly described as “an underage youth.”

“Talk to the bishop,” an angry Jimenez tells the reporter, adding:“There’s nothing to declare.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:36 PM

The Role of the Apology in Abuse Redress Schemes

AUSTRALIA
Mediate.com

January 2018

by Greg Rooney

The profound apology has been an essential part of abuse redress schemes adopted by a number of religious institutions in Australia for supporting victims of abuse within their organisations.

It has also been applied by the Australian Government in its response to institutional abuse within the Australian Defence Force through the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce (DART). A number of Australian State governments are in the process of adopting a similar redress scheme for dealing with abuse within their local police forces.

These schemes have not only had a transformative effect for the victims of that abuse they also have had a profound effect on those representatives giving the apology. As a result they have a powerful influence on bringing about a change of culture within those institutions.

Removing barriers for victims to obtain redress

These redress schemes have a number of unique features.

Firstly, claimants are accepted into the scheme without having to prove the criminal standard of proof of beyond reasonable doubt that the abuses occurred. Some schemes have reduced the level of proof to the civil onus of the balance of probabilities while others have adopted a far lesser onus requiring the application simply to have the appearance of being plausible. This makes it easier for victims to come forward and report the abuse.

These type of claims are evidentially hard to prove because it is usually one person’s word against the other. Historical claims are also difficult to sustain because of the passing of time. Dropping the onus of proof to a lower level allows the matter to be dealt with without the claimant having to re-engage with the perpetrator through the investigating process. This takes further pressure off claimants

Secondly, there is no involvement by the perpetrator of the abuse once the claim has been accepted. The apology is given by senior religious figures, military officers and police commanders on behalf of the institution in which the abuse occurred. Again this protects the claimant from having to re-engage with the perpetrator avoiding the very real potential for re-traumatisation.

The traditional restorative justice/ victim offender mediation approach of focusing on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large does not apply with these redress schemes.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:34 PM

Bishop warns parishioners about 'extremely dangerous' paedophile ex priest living 150 yards from primary school

WATERFORD (IRELAND)
Irish Mirror

January 5, 2018

By Ciaran Murphy

Parents have been warned of his presence in the community

A bishop has warned parishioners about “an extremely dangerous paedophile” ex-priest who lives about 150 yards from a primary school.

Convicted paedophile Oliver O’Grady, 72, originally from Limerick, now lives near six schools and a Montessori in the heart of Waterford city.

The sicko was convicted for raping and abusing at least 25 children in California from 1973 onwards.

Astonishingly, O’Grady lives close to an all-boys primary school.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:30 PM

Judge OKs 2 insurance settlements in Diocese of Duluth’s bankruptcy

DULUTH (MN)
Forum News Service

January 5, 2018

By Tom Olsen

DULUTH, Minn. — A judge overseeing the Diocese of Duluth’s bankruptcy has signed off on two insurance company settlements that will pump nearly $10 million into the case.

The agreements, approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel at a hearing in Minneapolis on Thursday, will provide almost $9 million to victims of child sexual abuse and allow officials to pursue additional compensation.

The settlements with Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. resolve two-fifths of a federal lawsuit filed in June 2016 that has stalled the bankruptcy proceedings.

The diocese, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in December 2015 in the wake of a $4.9 million verdict, brought the suit against five insurers in an effort to force coverage of claims received from 125 people who said they were abused by priests.

Nebraska-based Catholic Mutual in November agreed to contribute $8.95 million to victims, becoming the first insurance company to resolve its role in the case after prolonged litigation and mediation.

Representatives of both the diocese and the victims said the settlement marked a “major step forward” in moving the bankruptcy case toward a global resolution that will adequately compensate victims and allow the diocese to emerge from Chapter 11 protection.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:29 PM

Confidential deals can obscure sexual misconduct allegations against doctors as Cleveland Clinic case shows

CLEVELAND (OH)
USA Today

January 5, 2018

By Jayne O'Donnell

The Cleveland Clinic, one of the nation's largest and most renowned hospitals, knew of at least two cases in which one of its surgeons was accused of raping patients but kept him on the staff while reaching a confidential settlement, a USA TODAY investigation has found.

Ryan Williams, a colorectal surgeon accused in police reports by two women of anally raping them in 2008 and 2009, left Cleveland Clinic last summer for another hospital, which placed him on leave after learning of the complaints against him.

As prominent men in government, the judiciary and entertainment lose their jobs for varied forms of sexual harassment, doctors accused of sexual assaults of patients are regularly unaffected professionally or publicly.

But the same types of secret settlements criticized for their role in sex abuse and harassment cases from Hollywood to Capitol Hill are also frequent in health care. Doctors and hospitals worried about their public image feel like, “If I can’t get silence what’s in it for me?," says Jim Hopper, a clinical psychologist and expert witness in cases involving institutions' treatment of patients.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:06 PM

Lawsuit: Priest sexually abused boy during confession night in 1958

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

January 5, 2018

By Haidee V. Eugenio

Father Louis Brouillard allegedly sexually abused an altar boy during confession night in or around 1958, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents only as G.M. to protect his privacy, said Brouillard's sexual molestation and abuse included fondling, masturbation and oral copulation during the time G.M. was a minor altar boy at the Mangilao parish and as a Boy Scout in the Mangilao troop.

G.M. is represented by attorney David Lujan's law firm. The lawsuit said G.M. is now 66 years old and was 15 at the time of the alleged abuse. However, a 15-year-old in 1958 would not be 66 now. Attempts to reach the law firm for clarification weren't successful.

The $10 million lawsuit also alleges G.M. was sexually abused by Boy Scout leader Edward Pereira around the same time.

G.M. said in his lawsuit that Brouillard also sexually abused him and other boys during weekly Boy Scouts outings by instructing them to remove their clothes and swim naked. The lawsuit says while swimming, Brouillard would grope and touch the boys' private parts.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:26 PM

Abuse survivor says conviction rate 'a joke'

DUNEDIN (NEW ZEALAND)
Otago Daily Times

January 4, 2018

By Chris Morris

A Dunedin survivor of historic abuse in state care says the number of prosecutions resulting from a national listening service is ''a joke''.

Figures released to the Otago Daily Times, following an Official Information Act request, showed just two offenders had been successfully prosecuted as a result of referrals to police by the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS).

The CLAS panel, launched in 2008, travelled the country to hear from about 1100 people - 57% of whom said they had been sexually abused in state care - before issuing its final report in 2015.

However, information released to the ODT by Detective Inspector David Kirby, the national manager of the police's sexual violence and child protection unit, underscored the difficulties in securing convictions for historic offending dating back to the 1950s.

The figures showed the CLAS had referred 90 people to police, but 54 were for requests for further information only.

The remaining 36 referrals had led to criminal investigations being conducted, but charges were laid in just eight cases and just two prosecutions had been successful by September last year, the figures showed.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:22 PM

Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor

NEW LAMBTON (AUSTRALIA)
The Newcastle Herald

January 5, 2018

I CONFESS that I have never had much time for canon lawyers. Father Tom Doyle shows that once a canon lawyer always a canon lawyer (‘Cleric urges government to be bold’, Newcastle Herald, 4/1).

Making tax concessions contingent on the Catholic Church classifying child sexual abuse as a crime in canon law does not achieve much in terms of changing hearts or helping survivors. Classifying child sexual abuse as a crime is no substitute for empathy and nor does it guarantee moral integrity.

Child sexual abuse is evil because it is enabled by a lack of empathy. The survivors want to make sure that what they endured is not inflicted upon another.

The best way to prevent further abuse and to show empathy is to remove the perpetrator from the office of ministry that made the abuse possible.

If Rome remains ambivalent or tardy about such removal then we need local leaders prepared to make a stand on what should be non-negotiable.

Mark Porter, New Lambton

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:12 PM

Fury as State probe axed into 'cover up' of Waterford paedophile Bill Kenneally's abuse

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Mirror

January 4, 2018

By Niall Moonan

Victims say they and their families' lives are on hold waiting for investigation into how sex abuse complaints were not acted upon

Victims of Ireland’s worst paedophile were told yesterday that an inquiry promised last year into claims the State covered up the horrific abuse, has been shelved.

They had hoped the probe would finally expose the organisations which knew - but did nothing about - the decades-long torture they suffered at the hands of depraved basketball coach Bill Kenneally.

But Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan yesterday said it can not proceed because of fresh allegations against the jailed pervert.

One brave victim, Jason Clancy, 47, told The Mirror last night that neither he nor fellow survivors were told about the decision and learned about it through the media.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:10 PM

DEBRA MESSING EXPLAINS SIGNIFICANCE OF #METOO CAMPAIGN

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Reuters via Eyewitness News (EWN)

January 5, 2018

Debra Messing says the #MeToo campaign has helped her realise how many times she's been sexually harassed.

LONDON - New York-born actress has spoken about how the #MeToo campaign has impacted her own life.

Debra Messing says the #MeToo campaign has helped her realise how many times she's been sexually harassed.

The 49-year-old actress says that the fallout from the Hollywood sex scandal - which led to the launch of the MeToo campaign on social media, encouraging abuse victims to share their own experiences - has caused her to understand how many times she's been subjected to inappropriate, unwanted advances.

Debra said the campaign "made me realise that I hadn't processed how many times I had actually been sexually harassed throughout my life".

The 'Will & Grace' star said that the scandal - which was triggered by a series of allegations made against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein - has underlined the need for more female representation in positions of power.

She told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: "We need people who are not white men to be in positions of power, that's what has become most clear through all of this."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:36 AM

Catholic Monsignor Who Stole Money to Cover Gambling Expenses Sentenced to Federal Prison

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Casino.org

January 4, 2018

By Kevin Horridge

Catholic Monsignor William Dombrow is headed to federal prison for the next eight months for stealing $535,000 from the Philadelphia Archdiocese to predominantly cover his gambling expenses.

US District Judge Gerald Pappert sentenced Dombrow yesterday in Philadelphia, but he didn’t go lightly on the once-vaunted Catholic priest. The federal judge explained in his verdict that Dombrow’s confession and willingness to take advantage of donors was a crime that needed to be properly punished.

While Dombrow, 78, admitted most of the money was used to fuel his gambling escapades, the priest also purchased dozens of concert tickets, took lavish trips, and ate at expensive restaurants.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:33 AM

Guest Opinion: Let’s foster a culture where victims feel they can speak out

LEVITTOWN (PA)
Bucks County Courier Times

January 5, 2018

By Penelope Ettinger

So many of the men who sexually assault children and women are known in their respective communities as “a good man” — the priest, teacher, mentor, boyfriend, grandfather, elected official, lawyer, business leader or husband. Few are complete strangers to their victims.

On the other hand, when women come forward and disclose their abuse, we often wonder “why didn’t she say anything until now?” But the more important questions that we really need to focus on are “What can we all do to help prevent sexual assault?” “How do we provide an environment where every victim can feel safe to come forward?” And lastly, “Why are we blaming the victim?”

The facade of being a “good man” is key to many perpetrators’ ability to maintain social and professional circles so egregious behavior is not so easily recognized. The “good man” can hold exceptional power to control their victim and shame or threaten them into silence. Whether the victim is a child or an adult — grooming from a position of power on the part of the perpetrator is key to controlling a victim.

We would all like to believe that sexual assault only happens outside of our wonderful community. However unfortunate, women, children and men are sexually assaulted every day here in Buck County. Affluence, poverty, race, age, zip code of residence and ethnicity do not define who and where children, women or men will be sexually assaulted. The Network of Victim Assistance is the comprehensive victim services organization and rape crisis center in Bucks County.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:24 AM

Caldey Island monk sexual abuser was warned by abbot

CALDEY ISLAND (WALES)
Jackson Observer

January 5, 2018

A monk who sexually abused children on Caldey Island was warned by an abbot that he risked “severe penalties” if his behaviour continued.

Father Thaddeus Kotik‘s abuse was reported to Brother Robert O‘Brien in 1990 but not to police, a letter seen by Wales shows.

Dyfed-Powys Police said it received reports of the abuse in 2014 and 2016.

They investigated but could not prosecute as Kotik died in 1992.

Six women have been paid compensation in an out-of-court settlement by Caldey Abbey following the sexual abuse claims.

Kotik befriended families who regularly visited the island. After gaining the trust of parents he would babysit the children and sexually abuse them, court papers have suggested.

One of them, , said she “bitterly regrets” that her abuser was never jailed.

There are fears there could be more victims and calls have been made for an by the Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors group.

In the letter, Brother Robert showed Kotik‘s behaviour was known about in the monastery, a place which attracts tourists to the small island.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:22 AM

Caldey Island sexual abuse independent inquiry call

CALDEY ISLAND (WALES)
Jackson Observer

January 4, 2018

Victims of historic sexual abuse at a monastery on Caldey Island deserve an independent inquiry, a support group has said.

Six women have been paid compensation in an out-of-court settlement following sexual abuse claims in the 1970s and 1980s by a monk at the abbey.

The Children‘s Commissioner is to write to the monastery for an assurance that children who visit the island are safe.

The Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors group want an investigation.

“It is human nature to protect those around you,” said Jo Kind, the Welsh representative of the group which supports women and men who have been sexually abused by members of the Church.

“In order for that to be open and for all of the facts to be found out, there does need an independent inquiry from somebody who is not part of the institution, who can come in with expertise, ask the right questions and find out what happened.”

Dyfed-Powys Police has confirmed it received reports of historical sexual abuse by a monk on Caldey Island.

Father Thaddeus Kotik, who lived on the Pembrokeshire island for 45 years, abused six children in the 1970s and 1980s.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:19 AM

First church sex abuse of 2018 filed, seeking $10M

GUAM
KUAM News

January 5, 2018

By Krystal Paco

The New Year brings more allegations of clergy sexual abuse. Only identified by his initials to protect his identity, 66-year-old "G.M." alleges he was molested and abused by former Guam priest and Boy Scout master, Father Louis Brouillard.

G.M. detailed an incident in which the priest asked if he had masturbated before removing G.M.'s pants and performing sexual acts on him.

G.M. was only 15 years old at the time.

He's suing for $10 million.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:09 AM

January 4, 2018

Australian of the Year: Chrissie Foster’s resolute battle ‘to right a wrong’ for abused kids

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
The Australian

January 5, 2018

By Tessa Akerman

Chrissie Foster said last year she and her late husband Anthony only “struggled to do the right thing and try to right a wrong”.

Their struggle resulted in the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse by religious and other organisations and showed the need for a royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

Ms Foster drew state attention to the issue of clergy abuse with her book Hell on the Way to Heaven, co-written with Paul Kennedy, which detailed the Fosters’ fight for justice after two of their daughters were abused by pedophile priest Kevin O’Donnell.

The scale of child sexual abuse and failings by institutions led to a damning report in 2013 and highlighted the need for the royal commission announced by then prime minister Julia Gillard in 2012.

“It has been a long time — for us it has been a 16-year wait,’’ Ms Foster said.

“This just feels like we’ve been heard and believed, which feels like justice.’’

The Fosters gave evidence before the royal commission and supported other survivors, even travelling to Rome for cardinal George Pell’s testimony in 2016.

“This is helping the work of the royal commission on a world stage,” Ms Foster said.

“It’s been such a godsend for the victims of Australia.”

While the journey has been marked by losses, including the death of her daughter Emma in 2008 and her husband’s death last year, Ms Foster has continued to speak out for victims and travelled to Canberra last month to see the commission’s final report handed down.

Ms Foster is adamant the government and church must follow through on the commission’s recommendations to the Catholic Church, including on such matters as the sanctity of the confessional seal.

“The government must be brave and follow the royal commission’s informed recommendations,” she said.

“The Catholic Church priesthood says confession is sacrosanct. I say the bodies of children are sacrosanct.”

Ms Foster was Victoria’s 2017 nominee for Australia’s Local Hero and is one of The Australian’s Australian of the Year nominees.

Readers are encouraged to make a nomination for Australian of the Year by filling out the coupon, sending an email or going to our website.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:06 PM

Community comes together for Lina's project

NEWCASTLE (AUSTRALIA)
MN News

January 3, 2018

By Joanne Isaac

In September the launch event for The Atonement: Lina’s Project took place at Newcastle City Hall. It was arguably the first time a Catholic diocese had facilitated a project conceived by a victim of child sexual abuse.

Lina, who was abused by a member of clergy in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, devised The Atonement: Lina’s Project as a way of rebuilding her own trust in “my Church” and bringing some healing to the “average, ordinary human beings” whose skin had been “burnt, scorched and blistered” by the actions and inactions of the church.

Lina hoped that by admitting its criminal history and cover-ups at the launch event and then projecting images onto the façade of Sacred Heart Cathedral, the diocese might take a step towards atonement with the community.

The audio-visual presentation has been viewed over 1,600 times, so clearly, people are engaging with Lina’s message. You can watch it on the Lina’s Project website, www.linasproject.com.au. The projection onto the cathedral also saw a significant number of people watching each evening.

Around 500 people attended on Friday 15 September. Victims, survivors, families and friends, clergy, religious, principals, teachers, diocesan staff and many others sat together. The mood was, as Pat Feenan described, “quiet, respectful and sad, which was exactly as it should be”.

ABC presenter, Juanita Phillips, welcomed all and explained how Lina’s Project came to be.

A 16-minute presentation was shown. The focus was the naming of perpetrators of abuse, as well as those who concealed their crimes, but Lina’s voice and words anchored the film and − along with statements from other victims and survivors who lent their voices − gave the presentation its compass.

The silence during the presentation was moving. One person described the event as “beautifully sensitive and heartbreakingly truthful”.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:04 PM

Priest gets 8 months in prison for embezzling $500,000

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Associated Press

January 4, 2018

The rector of a retirement home for Roman Catholic priests who was convicted of embezzling a half-million dollars has been sentenced to eight months in federal prison.

Authorities say Monsignor William Dombrow spent the stolen funds on casino visits, expensive dinners and concerts.

At his sentencing Wednesday, Dombrow acknowledged committing a “serious crime” and said he would accept the judge's decision.

Dombrow's attorney says the priest was sometimes accompanied on those outings by residents of Villa St. Joseph. The Philadelphia Archdiocese runs the facility in Darby to house aging priests and treat those accused of sexual abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:01 PM

Renowned harpist who played privately for royal family accused of sexually abusing teenage boy

ENGLAND
The Independent

January 4, 2018

By Rachel McDermott

Danielle Perrett, 58, in court along with former boyfriend Richard Barton-Wood, 68, a church warden, over seven counts of indecent assault dating back to 1980s

One of the world's most renowned harpists, who has played privately for the royal family, has appeared in court accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy.

Danielle Perrett, 58, is accused of seven indecent assaults which date back to the 1980s.

She is charged with church warden Richard Barton-Wood who she is understood to have been in a relationship at the time of the alleged offences.

Barton-Wood, 68, has pleaded not guilty to five counts of indecent assault on a teenage male, two charges of attempting to commit buggery and a further allegation of attempting to indecently assault a teenager.

Barton-Wood, of Wymondham, Norfolk, is said to have been involved in teaching in Suffolk, at the time.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:57 PM

Family of late Stone Mountain priest settles child molestation suit

ATLANTA (GA)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

January 3, 2018

By Joshua Sharpe

When a 47-year-old man decided to sue a former DeKalb County priest in 2017, he dreamed of facing his alleged abuser in court. But it turned out Father Stanley Idziak, who’d been accused of molesting multiple children in Dunwoody and Stone Mountain, had died months earlier, leaving the only legal recourse suing his estate.

On Tuesday, the plaintiff withdrew the complaint after receiving a settlement from the priest’s family, attorney John Burdges said.

“It just meant a lot to him that he had that opportunity to fight back,” Burdges said of his client, whose name is sealed in court filings. “His statement to me was, ‘John, it’s finally over.’”

Burdges declined to say how much money was involved in the settlement, other than that it was all the family could give from the estate after administrative costs. Idziak’s estate was worth $62,000, according to a copy of his will obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Burdges said it seemed the priest’s family felt for the victim. Their attorney, Stephen H. DeBaun, declined to comment Wednesday.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:54 PM

A second mediator is in the works for church settlement

GUAM
Pacific News Center

January 4, 2018

By Janela Carrera

Mediation is expected to conclude in June.

Guam – The Archdiocese of Agana and Attorney David Lujan who has the bulk of the church sex abuse cases have agreed to seek a second mediator.

The parties filed a notice in District Court that they have already discussed this with their current proposed mediator Tony Piazza. But because of the number of cases involved, over 140, an additional mediator will be needed.

In fact, they have already identified that second mediator as Judge Molloway, who they propose will assist Piazza.

Settlement negotiations were expected to conclude in March or April of this year but has since been pushed back to June this year.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:52 PM

Racist cult leaders accused of ritualistic sex abuse of children in new lawsuit

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)

January 3, 2018

By Brendan Joel Kelley

Last week, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ (FLDS) “prophet,” Warren Jeffs, along with three other church leaders, were accused in a Utah lawsuit of ritualistic rape of the unnamed plaintiff beginning when she was eight years old

The FLDS is a polygamist, white supremacist, homophobic cult that Jeffs ruled with an iron fist, a splinter group that broke from the mainstream Mormon church when it abandoned the doctrine of polygamy in the late 19th century. In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center designated the FLDS as a hate group due to Jeffs’ racist, anti-LGBT, misogynistic teachings.

As “prophet,” Jeffs assigned marriages of underage girls to male FLDS members. FLDS members who did not comply with Jeffs’ decrees were separated from their families and lost their homes. Jeffs is serving a life sentence in a Texas prison for raping two of his own child brides, ages 12 and 15, who were among his 78 wives.

The allegations in the new lawsuit go far beyond the child bride practice, though. The plaintiff, now 21 years old, accuses Warren Jeffs, along with his brothers Lyle Jeffs and Seth Jeffs, and Wendell LeRoy Nielsen — all leaders in the FLDS at one time, to varying degrees — along with 20 unnamed John Does, of gathering underage girls and ritualistically raping them while other FLDS members watched and documented the abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:46 PM

State looks to close Hanna Boys Center

SONOMA (CA)
The Press Democrat

January 3, 2018

By Paul Payne

License revocation proceedings have begun against Sonoma Valley’s embattled Hanna Boys Center following a year of controversy in which a former top manager was charged with molesting four children, a second employee was accused of having sex with a youth and the facility was slapped with numerous civil lawsuits containing further allegations of abuse.

A six-page complaint filed late last month by the Community Care Licensing Division of the Department of Social Services seeks to stop the 73-year-old, Catholic Church-based center on Arnold Drive from operating as a group home while stripping its former clinical director, Kevin Scott Thorpe, of the ability to ever work in a state-licensed facility again.

Thorpe, 39, of Rohnert Park was arrested in June after a former resident came forward alleging Thorpe sexually abused him over a five-year period. An investigation turned up three more former residents who claim Thorpe molested them at the facility and during off-site, solo outings, in incidents dating back to at least 2006.

Thorpe, who also ran a youth ministry program as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, remains in jail awaiting a February preliminary hearing with bail set at $1.8 million.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:40 PM

No additional mediator in clergy sex abuse cases

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

January 4, 2018

By Haidee V. Eugenio

Attorneys for clergy sex abuse accusers and the Archdiocese of Agana told the federal court Thursday that no additional mediator is needed to settle 150 Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed in the local and federal courts.

Antonio Piazza, of the San Francisco-based Mediated Negotiations, is the mediator chosen by the parties in the abuse cases.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood had asked the parties to consider having an additional mediator, Judge Susan Mollway, to assist in the proposed mediation. The judge gave the parties until Jan. 4 to respond to her proposal.

"It is the desire at this time to proceed with Mr. Piazza, who will bring with him additional staff, to commence and complete the mediation between all the parties involved," archdiocese counsel John Terlaje and plaintiffs' attorney David Lujan said in a Jan. 4 federal court filing.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:35 PM

Catholic Church rocked by new sex abuse scandal as 10 paedophile priests named in Switzerland

SWITZERLAND
International Business Times

January 4, 2018

By Isabelle Gerretsen

One victim has accused the church in Sion of covering up allegations of clerical abuse.

The Catholic Church has been rocked by new sex abuse allegations, with victims in Switzerland identifying ten paedophile priests who abused children between the 1950s and 1990s.

Jean-Marie Lovey, the bishop of the Swiss city Sion, apologised this week to the victims for the suffering they endured.

Around 220 victims came forward with allegations between 2010 and 2016, according to Swiss news agency SDA.

Last year, several victims accused ten priests of being paedophiles.

Three of the accused clergymen are still alive. In February, the Swiss Bishops Conference set up a commission to award compensation to victims abused by Swiss priests.

One of the victims, who chose to remain anonymous, told Radio Rhône FM that the church in Sion had covered up the abuse and moved priests who had been caught abusing children to other parishes.

He said that he had met around 50 victims in Sion, but believed that there were many more.

Bishop Lovey, who was appointed by Pope Francis in 2014, has denied that the church in Sion covered up abuse allegations. He said priests were moved to other parishes as a preventive measure.

Last month, Cardinal Bernard Law, who was at the heart of the Boston sex abuse scandal, died in Rome, having never faced punishment for covering up the clerical abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:33 PM

Catholic church in Valais rocked by new sex abuse claims

SWITZERLAND
The Local

January 4, 2018

Accusations of historic sexual abuse have been made against around ten Catholic priests in the bishopric of Sion in the canton of Valais.

The bishop of Sion, Jean-Marie Lovey, has asked the victims for forgiveness, the Swiss news agency SDA reported, quoting Radio Rhône FM.

It said the abuse of children and young people happened between the 1950s and 1990s, and all the cases were now too old for a prosecution to take place.

The paedophile priests were identified after some ten victims went to the diocese of Sion with abuse allegations last year.

Three of the accused clergymen are still alive.

One of the victims told the radio the numbers of reported abuse cases did not correspond to the reality.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:29 PM

Single mediator will handle church lawsuits

GUAM
KUAM News

January 4, 2018

By Krystal Paco

A new year hopefully brings the Church closer to resolving the 150-plus clergy sexual abuse lawsuits against them.

In a joint filing on Thursday, attorneys for both parties agree that they wish to proceed with only Tony Piazza as their choice mediator for settlement talks.

As reported, the federal court asked parties to consider Judge Susan Mollway to join their team.

According to plaintiffs' attorney David Lujan and Church attorney John Terlaje, "It is the desire to proceed with Mr. Piazza, who will bring with him additional staff, to commence and complete the mediation between all parties involved."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:28 PM

OPINION: Church reform is coming agonizingly slowly

PETERBOROUGH (ONTARIO, CANADA)
The Peterborough Examiner

January 4, 2018

By Rosemary Ganley

I once again take up the topic of reform in the Catholic church, because I'm a kind of an insider/outsider, a Pope-watcher, and an analyst who knows the immense power and global reach of this church. And the sad effects of its mistaken teachings and practices.

There were two items in recent news: one the death of American Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston, age 86, who, after being indicted on charges related to his cover-up of clergy sex abuse against children, fled to Rome in 2002 and was put in charge of a major church. Remember the courageous journalism of the Boston Globe and the subsequent film Spotlight.

Here is what Canadian politician Charlie Angus, NDP MP from Cobalt, had to say in an anguished post:

"I learned my lessons in faith and justice in the church. I remember pastors organizing over the grape boycott for farmworkers. I was working at a Catholic Worker house when the sexual abuse scandals first came to light. They were stunning revelations, but even more stunning was to see powerful men who were supposed to follow the words of Jesus suppress, cover-up and protect serial predators. Cardinal Law was eventually brought down by a grand jury indictment, but protected by Pope John Paul II. He was a disgrace to everything Jesus stood for. Good riddance."

In Canada, we had our own searing scandal at Mount Cashel orphanage in Newfoundland 40 years ago, where 300 young persons alleged physical and sexual abuse by the Christian Brothers, cover-up by churchmen and police collusion.

The Newfoundland government ordered an inquiry and the report in 1992 by former Lt.-Gov. Gordon Winter caused the Archbishop, Alphonsus Penney to resign, the orphanage to be closed and razed, some priests to go to jail and the churches largely to be emptied.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:25 PM

Joliet Diocese compromises on wording of woman's grave marker

JOLIET (IL)
The Herald News

January 3, 2018

By Alex Ortiz

'She supported priest sexual abuse victims'

Weeks after an initial request, Marguerite Ridgeway’s grave finally hosts a marker stating, “She supported priest sexual abuse victims,” after her years of advocacy and death in 2015.

Ridgeway’s son, Jack Ruhl, a professor of accountancy at Western Michigan University, sent a letter to the Diocese of Joliet in October requesting a marker be added to his mother’s grave which would read, “She supported priest rapist victims.”

The diocese took issue with the use of the word “rapist,” stating in a letter from diocese attorney Maureen Harton that their “concern must be with the many people who visit Assumption Cemetery with the expectation that their quiet time with their loved ones will be peaceful, tranquil and free of stress and anxiety.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:22 PM

Abuse survivor pushes for extending statute of limitations

WEBSTER (NY)
WHAM ABC 13

January 3, 2018

By Carlet Cleare

Webster, N.Y. – A Webster woman, who is an abuse survivor, is pushing for extended statute of limitations on childhood sexual assault victims.

Across the state, advocates of sexual assault victims are pushing the governor to expand the limitations for child victims. Currently, they only have until the age of 23 to bring criminal or civil charges against their abuser.

Rebecca Holley was 13-years-old when a family friend molested her.

“I was staying overnight with his daughter, and that was the first night he molested me,” said Holley.

The abuse lasted for a year, happening at different times while she babysat for his children.

“It happened over and over again,” Holley recounted. “For hours in his house or anyplace that we’d be as families.”

“I never really understood what was happening,” she added.

Once Holley did, she mustered the courage to confront her abuser.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:20 PM

Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks on the #MeToo Moment and ‘The Post’

NEW YORK (NY)
The New York Times

January 3, 2018

By Cara Buckley

In a wide-ranging conversation, the stars discuss President Trump, the fallout from the Harvey Weinstein case and why they hadn’t worked together until “The Post.”

“The Post” tells of the tense days leading up to The Washington Post’s decision in 1971 to publish the Pentagon Papers, the government’s secret history of the Vietnam War. The New York Times had broken the story but was prohibited from running the full series after the Nixon administration won a court injunction. That’s when The Post took up the story.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film stars Meryl Streep as Katharine Graham, The Post’s publisher, who came into her own by defying President Richard M. Nixon’s order, and Tom Hanks as the legendary editor Ben Bradlee. It is also the first time these three Hollywood icons have all worked together. I recently spoke with Mr. Hanks and Ms. Streep about the film’s uncanny parallels with today, their thoughts on the Weinstein moment, and what it’s like following in the footsteps of what is arguably the best newspaper movie ever, “All the President’s Men,” starring Jason Robards as Bradlee. Here are edited excerpts from our conversation.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:17 PM

Combating sex abuse topic of upcoming workshop

NEWBERG (OR)
The Newberg Graphic

January 3, 2018

By Gary Allen

Police, church and Juliette's House join forces to stage event Jan. 6 in Newberg

The Newberg-Dundee Police Department, in conjunction with Juliette's House and Newberg Christian Church, will hold a workshop in January headlined "Sex Offenders: Keeping Children, Churches, Schools and Youth Organizations Safe."

The workshop is set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 6 at the church, 2315 Villa Road.

The event, according to a release from the NDPD, is designed to provide training for parents, the faith community, youth service organizations, camp staff, school staff, human resources personnel and risk management professionals.

Speaking will be Julie Siepmann, a licensed clinical social worker, and NDPD Detective Todd Baltzell.

Siepmann is the clinical services director and lead forensic interviewer at Juliette's House, a child abuse assessment center in McMinnville. She regularly testifies as an expert witness in criminal child abuse cases and has worked as a child and family therapist treating children who have experienced abuse.

Baltzell is a 24-year veteran of the NDPD and has been responsible for investigating more than 700 sexual assault cases, primarily for child/teen sexual abuse. He has co-facilitated community trainings addressing child sexual abuse and created the Newberg-Dundee Domestic Violence Response Team.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:11 PM

Cronología de los abusos sexuales que impactaron al mundo del espectáculo en el 2017

ARGENTINA
La Nacion

December 30, 2017

[Google Translate: 2017 became, inescapably, the year in which the floodgates of systematic sexual abuse were opened, implemented for decades in the industry and carried out by magnates, producers, actors, drivers and directors, whose victims took courage and changed the prevailing paradigm by force of painful and traumatic testimonies that uncovered the pot and that were added to the accusations against Casey Affleck , Woody Allen , Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski . Undoubtedly, the tip of the iceberg were the first accusations against Harvey Weinstein, producer of Miramax and The Weinstein Company, who exercised abuse of power with employees and actresses executing an alarming modus operandi. In this report, a review of how the magnate fell and how the accusations against them provided security to victims of other personalities, from Kevin Spacey to Louis CK , to emerge from the shadows.]

Este año, múltiples denuncias contra actores, directores, conductores y productores derivaron en un cambio de paradigma y pusieron a las víctimas al frente de un necesario movimiento con el que se anunció a gritos que "No es no"

El 2017 se convirtió, ineludiblemente, en el año en el que se abrieron las compuertas de los abusos sexuales sistemáticos implementado por décadas en la industria y llevados a cabo por magnates, productores, actores, conductores y directores, cuyas víctimas tomaron coraje y cambiaron el paradigma imperante a fuerza de testimonios dolorosos y traumáticos que destaparon la olla y que se sumaron a las denuncias esgrimidas contra Casey Affleck, Woody Allen, Bill Cosby y Roman Polanski. Sin dudas, la punta del iceberg fueron las primeras acusaciones contra Harvey Weinstein , productor de Miramax y The Weinstein Company, quien ejerció abuso de poder con empleadas y actrices ejecutando un alarmante modus operandi. En este informe, un repaso de cómo se produjo la caída del magnate y cómo las denuncias en su contra les brindaron seguridad a víctimas de otras personalidades, desde Kevin Spacey a Louis C.K , para salir de las sombras.

La primera denuncia contra Harvey Weinstein

El puntapié lo da el periódico The New York Times, cuando el 5 de octubre publica una investigación de larga data mediante la cual se revelaba que Weinstein, productor de películas como Shakespeare apasionado, Pulp Fiction, En busca del destino y El discurso del rey, había acosado sexualmente por décadas a empleadas de su compañía y a famosas actrices como Ashley Judd y Rose McGowan, quienes fueron las primeras en animarse a brindar sus testimonios. Judd contó que hace hace veinte años Weinstein la invitó al hotel Peninsula en Beverly Hills para un supuesto desayuno de trabajo. Sin embargo, una vez en el lugar, descubrió que el encuentro sería en la habitación del productor, quien la recibió en bata y le preguntó si podía darle un masaje y acompañarlo mientras se duchaba. "¿Cómo hago para irme de este cuarto lo antes posible sin ganarme como enemigo a Harvey Weinstein?", se preguntó por entonces la actriz, quien esperó años para cobrar valentía y compartir su relato.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:26 AM

Neshama Carlebach writes about her father, victims and being molested as a child

ISRAEL
Times of Israel

January 2, 2018

In her first public comments, daughter of Shlomo Carlebach pens a frank, emotional Times of Israel blog post entitled 'My sisters, I hear you'

Neshama Carlebach has made her first public statements about the alleged sexual misbehavior of her late father, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, describing the reckoning as “the most painful” challenge she has had to face.

In a frank and emotional Times of Israel blog post entitled “My sisters, I hear you,” Ms. Carlebach expressed solidarity with victims of sexual assault, pledging to “walk through this narrow-bridge world” with them and disclosing that she was sexually assaulted at age 9 by one of her father’s associates, whom she described as a trusted friend and a rabbi.

The singer, who incorporates her father’s music and ideas in her own performances, maintained there is far more to Shlomo Carlebach than his alleged misdeeds. “I accept the fullness of who my father was, flaws and all. I am angry with him. And I refuse to see his faults as the totality of who he was,” wrote Carlebach.

The blog post came in the wake of allegations of sexual impropriety — some previously known and some made in recent weeks — brought to the fore by a wide scale reckoning with sexual attacks on women that began with reports of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual predation and signified with the #MeToo Twitter hashtag.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:23 AM

Archdiocese reaches settlement with victim of priest who served in Lowell

LOWELL (MA)
Lowell Sun

January 2, 2018

By Aaron Curtis

LOWELL -- The Archdiocese of Boston has reached a five-figure settlement with William Brown, a childhood sexual abuse victim of the Rev. Arnold Kelley, who lived in Lowell for a number of years.

A media conference announcing the settlement will be made on the sidewalk outside St. Rita Church at 158 Mammoth Road in Lowell at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

"My client should be proud of himself for coming forward," Brown's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, stated in an email on Tuesday. "In doing so, he is emplowering himself, other sexual abuse victims and making the world a safer place for children.

"Sexual abuse victims should not and will not be silenced," he added.

As early as 1997, the Archdiocese of Boston was made aware of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by Kelley at St. Rita's Parish in Lowell.

In 2016, Brown came forward and filed a civil complaint in Essex County Superior Court alleging the sexual abuse.

From approximately 1966 to 1976, Kelley served as associate pastor at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Jamaica Plain.

From roughly 1973 to 1976, when Brown was 10- to 13-years-old, he attended masses at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, participated in the church band and attended Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes.

He was supervised and interacted with Kelley.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:22 AM

MEDIA RELEASE – JANUARY 2, 2018

NEW YORK
Road to Recovery

Road to Recovery, Inc. – P.O. Box 279, Livingston, New Jersey 07039 – 862-368-2800

The Archdiocese of Boston has reached a five-figure financial settlement with William Brown, a childhood sexual abuse victim of Fr. Arnold Kelley who lives in Lawrence, MA, was assigned to St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Jamaica Plain, MA from 1966-1976, and lived for a number of years in Lowell, MA at the rectory of St. Rita Roman Catholic Church, and Haverhill, MA at the rectory of All Saints Roman Catholic Church

William Brown alleged that he was sexually abused as a child from approximately 1973-1976 when he was approximately ten to thirteen years of age and a parishioner, band member, and religious education student (CCD) at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Jamaica Plain, MA

What

A media conference announcing a five-figure financial settlement between the Archdiocese of Boston and childhood sexual abuse victim, William Brown, who filed a lawsuit against Fr. Arnold Kelley in 2016 alleging that he was a child of approximately ten to thirteen years of age when Fr. Arnold E. Kelley sexually abused him at St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church, Jamaica Plain, MA. William Brown is represented by Boston Attorney Mitchell Garabedian.

When

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at 11:30 am

Where

On the public sidewalk outside St. Rita Church, 158 Mammoth Road, Lowell, MA 01854

Who

Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., President of Road to Recovery, Inc. a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, and advocate for childhood sexual abuse victim, William Brown

Why

As early as 1997, the Archdiocese of Boston was made aware of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor child by Fr. Arnold E. Kelley at St. Rita’s Parish in Lowell, MA. It is believed that Fr. Arnold E. Kelley arrived at St. Rita’s Parish in approximately 1980. In 2016, another man, William Brown, came forward and filed a civil complaint in Essex County Superior Court alleging that Fr. Arnold E. Kelley sexually abused him from 1973-1976 when he was approximately 10-13 years of age and a parishioner, band member, and religious education student at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Jamaica Plain, MA. Recently, William Brown and the Archdiocese of Boston reached a five-figure financial settlement of the civil complaint against Fr. Arnold E. Kelley.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc., 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250 – mgarabedian@garabedianlaw.com
(featured in the 2016 Academy Award-winning Best Picture, “Spotlight”)

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:18 AM

Former Haverhill priest settles allegations of sexual assault

NORTH ANDOVER (MA)
Eagle Tribune

January 2, 2018

By Keith Eddings

A priest who retired to a rectory at All Saints Roman Catholic Church in Haverhill and then to a Lawrence nursing home has reached a five-figure settlement with a man who said the priest sexually assaulted him at a Jamaica Plain parish over a three-year period, beginning when the boy was 10 years old in 1973.

The man, William Brown, who now lives in Abington, reached the settlement with Father Arnold Kelley 20 months after suing Kelley in Essex County Superior Court. His complaint accused Kelley of fondling, sodomizing and performing oral sex on him at St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Dorchester where Brown was then a parishioner and where Kelley was assigned. Brown's suit also said Kelley misrepresented “the wrongful nature of the explicit sexual behavior” so that Brown – now 54 – only recently realized he had been assaulted.

Kelley denied Brown's allegations in a response he filed in superior court. He asked Judge Thomas Drechsler to dismiss the complaint, mostly on technical grounds. Drechsler denied the motion in September.

Brown was represented by Boston lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, whose allegations in 2002 that former priest John Geoghan was sexually assaulting children led to revelations that similar abuses were widespread in the Boston Archdiocese and that Cardinal Bernard Law was doing little to stop them while he was archbishop.

Law eventually was reassigned to Rome, where he died Dec. 20. Garabedian's role in uncovering the assaults and coverups was featured in the 2015 film “Spotlight,” about the role The Boston Globe also played in uncovering the abuses.

Brown's suit alleged that Kelley's attacks caused him significant emotional distress, leading to his drug abuse and alcoholism. He now collects Social Security Disability payments because of a disability that Garabedian said is caused at least in part by Kelley's memory of the alleged sexual attacks more than 40 years ago.

Garabedian declined a request to interview Brown on Tuesday. He said Brown asked that the amount of the settlement be described only as in the five figures, meaning it is between $10,000 and $99,000.

Garabedian is scheduled to announce the settlement at a press conference Wednesday morning outside St. Rita Church in Lowell, where Kelley was assigned in the 1980s and where Garabedian says he sexually assaulted another child.

Robert Hoatson, president of Road to Recovery, a nonprofit that assists victims of sexual abuse, will join Garabedian at the press conference.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:15 AM

Priest gets prison for $500G theft from archdiocese

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Delco Daily Times

January 3, 2018

PHILADELPHIA >> The suspended rector at the Villa St. Joseph retirement home in Darby Borough, who in May pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud for diverting more than $500,000 intended for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to his personal account, was back in federal court Wednesday for sentencing.

The Rev. Msgr. William A. Dombrow, 78, was sentenced to serve eight months in jail on each of the four counts to run concurrently, followed by three years supervised release on each of the four counts, also to run concurrently but consecutive to incarceration, defense attorney Steven Pacillio said.

The sentencing proceeding before U.S. District Court Judge Gerald J. Pappert lasted nearly three hours. Pacillio said the judge allowed his client, who remains in “good standing” with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and continues to reside at Villa St. Joseph, to self-surrender on Feb. 20.

Pacillio described Dombrow as totally accepting of his responsibility, since day one.

“He has a strong faith and he knows his fate is ultimately in God’s hands,” Pacillio said. “He’s never expressed even once any minimization or any attempt at ducking responsibility.”

Dombrow was on administrative leave when he was arrested in April for stealing $535,258 between December 2007 and May 2016. He was specifically charged with four separate instances of illegal transfers between 2013 and 2016 for sums ranging between $10,000 and $25,000.

The villa provides licensed nursing care and housing for retired and infirm priests of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which had contracted with Catholic Human Services to provide management and accounting services at the home, according to a criminal information document filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:06 AM

Father Tom Doyle says tax concessions should be on table as church responds to royal commission

AUSTRALIA
The Newcastle Herald

January 4, 2018

By Joanne McCarthy

THE Australian Government should ignore the church/state divide and put “massive pressure” on the Catholic Church to name child sexual abuse as a crime in church law, says the American Catholic cleric who first blew the whistle on the global abuse scandal in 1984.

“The church gave up this privilege long ago when they started to enable sex abuse, lie about it to society and cover up for abusers,” said Dominican priest Tom Doyle after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s final report in December recommended major changes, including to celibacy and the secrecy of the confessional.

The government must link tax concessions with the need for significant change in the church because “when enough money goes away they start to feel the reality”, he said.

Australian politicians needed to end the “deference and preferential treatment” given to the Catholic Church because “the deference accorded by many sectors in civil society has done its part to enable this harm, by allowing the churches to escape accountability”, he said in response to Newcastle Herald questions.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:03 AM

January 3, 2018

PEGGY DIVENUTI, Weymouth: Cardinal Law was following orders from Vatican

WEYMOUTH (MA)
The Patriot Ledger

Jan 2, 2018

TO THE EDITOR:

Although the actions of Cardinal Law were reprehensible, I believe he was following direct orders from Rome, just like his predecessors.

The transfer, and cover-up, of the deranged clergy extends way back to Cardinal Cushing’s reign.

If this was not the case, why was Cardinal Law promoted to a more prestigious position, in Rome, after the horrific abuse of power and miscarriage of justice were courageously exposed by The Globe?

PEGGY DIVENUTI
Weymouth

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:28 AM

Bishop defends comic Al Porter against ‘darkness’ visited upon him

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Jan 1, 2018

By Patsy McGarry

A Catholic bishop has called for “balance, proper proportion and fair play” so that comedian Al Porter “may feel free and welcome to make us laugh again”.

Bishop Eamonn Walsh, Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin whose area of responsibility includes Tallaght, referred to Mr Porter as “our local comedian”. He hoped 2018 would “be the year that we allow justice take its course and not usurp it through public condemnation, humiliation and sentence without trial. May heads on plates be off the menu in 2018.”

He said “darkness” was visited on comedian “before justice to all could be processed”.

Last November Mr Porter, who will be 25 on Sunday, resigned from Today FM where he had presented a lunchtime show since February of last year, after four separate complaints from men alleging that he touched them inappropriately in incidents dating back to 2012. Further allegations followed.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:25 AM

‘I Now Feel Free and Can Live My Life.’ Australian Commission Gives Voice to Child Sexual Abuse Survivors

AUSTRALIA
Global Voices

January 2, 2018

Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was always certain to stir controversy, particularly with regard to the Catholic Church, and it did just that when it delivered its final report on 15 December 2017.

The Royal Commission came about because of, as the report explains, “the sexual and other abuse of children in institutional settings, and the reluctance of those institutions involved to address this problem.” Its five years of hearings had already revealed widespread criminality, cover-ups and systemic failures across a wide range of both religious and other organisations.

According to the final report, the commission, which cost 500 million Australian dollars (380 million US dollars), was contacted by 16,953 people covered by its terms of reference, heard from 7,981 survivors of child sexual abuse in 8,013 private sessions, received 1,344 written accounts, referred 2,562 matters to police and made 409 recommendations.

For many people, its real achievement has been to air the voices of individual survivors who in many cases have waited decades to be heard. A total of 3,956 survivor “Narratives” are on the commission website with this warning: “This story is about child sexual abuse. It may contain graphic descriptions and strong language, and may be confronting and disturbing.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:22 AM

Ireland's Culture Shifts From Being One Of Europe's Most Socially Conservative Countries

IRELAND
National Public Radio

January 2, 2018

By Frank Langfitt

Long considered among Europe's most socially conservative countries, Ireland is holding a referendum next year to legalize abortion. The vote follows another that legalized same-sex marriage, and the election of the country's first, gay prime minister.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Ireland used to be one of the most socially conservative nations in Europe. Lately that's been changing. In 2015, voters legalized same-sex marriage. During last year's election, the country voted in a gay, biracial prime minister. And this summer, the Catholic country will vote on whether to repeal one of the strictest abortion laws in the Western world. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports from Dublin; there have been calls for this change for many years.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

FRANK LANGFITT, BYLINE: They held candles and signs that read never again - some 2,000 people protesting the death of Savita Halappanavar outside government buildings here in 2012. The dentist from India died after doctors refused to perform an abortion while she was miscarrying. Taking the microphone, Sinead Redmond of the group Parents for Choice demanded change.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SINEAD REDMOND: Savita Halappanavar is dead unnecessarily, and we are all complicit while the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution remains in place.

LANGFITT: Now, five years on, Irish citizens will finally have a chance to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the country's constitution which only permits abortion in exceptional cases, such as to save the life of the mother. Ailbhe Smyth, who was among the protesters that night, says Halappanavar's death was a turning point.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:20 AM

Archdiocese reaches settlement with victim of priest who served in Lowell

LOWELL (MA)
Lowell Sun

January 2, 2018

By Aaron Curtis

LOWELL -- The Archdiocese of Boston has reached a five-figure settlement with William Brown, a childhood sexual abuse victim of the Rev. Arnold Kelley, who lived in Lowell for a number of years.

A media conference announcing the settlement will be made on the sidewalk outside St. Rita Church at 158 Mammoth Road in Lowell at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

"My client should be proud of himself for coming forward," Brown's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, stated in an email on Tuesday. "In doing so, he is emplowering himself, other sexual abuse victims and making the world a safer place for children.

"Sexual abuse victims should not and will not be silenced," he added.

As early as 1997, the Archdiocese of Boston was made aware of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by Kelley at St. Rita's Parish in Lowell.

In 2016, Brown came forward and filed a civil complaint in Essex County Superior Court alleging the sexual abuse.

From approximately 1966 to 1976, Kelley served as associate pastor at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Jamaica Plain.

From roughly 1973 to 1976, when Brown was 10- to 13-years-old, he attended masses at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, participated in the church band and attended Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes.

He was supervised and interacted with Kelley.

During that time Kelley "engaged in explicit sexual behavior and lewd and lascivious conduct" with Brown, the complaint states.

Brown suffers "severe emotional distress and physical harm manifested by objective symptomatology including but not limited to sadness, anxiety, anger, crying, sleep problems, drug dependence and alcohol dependence," the complaint also states.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:17 AM

Judge orders more mediation to resolve Minn. clergy abuse settlements

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
CNA/EWTN News

January 3, 2018

Disputes over clergy abuse settlements in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis have led a federal bankruptcy judge to order a return to mediation for all the parties involved.

“Judge Kressel’s decision bolsters our resolve to move forward in the bankruptcy process,” Tom Abood, chairman of the archdiocese’s reorganization task force, said Dec. 28. “We are guided by his words from earlier this year, that the longer this process continues, the less money will be available for those who have been harmed.”

Abood voiced gratitude that the judge has dismissed claims from creditors’ attorneys that the archdiocese has acted in bad faith in the reorganization.

“We look to engage with all participants in mediation as directed by the judge to bring a prompt and fair resolution,” said Abood.

The archdiocese, insurance companies, parishes, a creditors’ committee and sex abuse survivors are involved in seeking a settlement for more than 400 victims. The process has lasted more than two years.

Judge Robert Kressel’s Dec. 28 ruling said the plan presented by abuse survivors required too much time and money to carry out. He said the archdiocese’s plan lacked sufficient financial accountability from the parishes involved, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

“Therefore,” his order said, “I expect all the parties to return to mediation. And I expect them to mediate in good faith.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:15 AM

January 2, 2018

Priest arrested for brutal murder of 11-yr-old Dalit boy

INDIA
Times of India

January 1, 2018

By Kanwardeep Singh

Shahjahanpur: With the arrest of a local priest, police claimed to have solved the brutal murder of an 11-year-old Dalit boy in a village in the district on Saturday. Police said the boy had seen the priest in an objectionable position with a woman, which lead to his murder. The case was solved within 24 hours with the help of investigation by additional superintendent of police (ASP) SC Shakya and the dog squad.

The body of the boy, Amit Pal, was found in Pipri Kalan village of Katra area on Sunday morning. There were several stab wounds on the body, and his limbs were fractured. An FIR was registered against unidentified persons under section 302 (murder) of the IPC and investigations began. The ASP also arrived at the village and began investigating the murder.
The postmortem was conducted by a panel of three doctors on Monday and found over 15 injuries on the throat, chest and abdomen.

Police initially suspected the crime to be an act of revenge, but the boy’s family said they had no enmity with anyone. On Sunday evening, the dog squad was called from Bareilly. Sniffer dog Diana, and her handler Kapil Dev, took a police team from the spot where the body was found to the hut of a local priest, Sua Lal.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:57 PM

Cuomo's State of the State speech to set agenda for busy 2018 in Albany

ALBANY (NY)
The Buffalo News

January 2, 2018

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – With advance roll-outs of his State of the State proposals ending, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday moves onto the actual speech phase -- an address certain to be particularly scrutinized by the left and right in an election year for a governor who sees himself with national political ambitions.

The governor, in both broad and specific brush strokes, will signal how the state can keep funding key programs in education and health care at a time when its deficit is project to be at least $4.4 billion. He is also expected to lay out changes in the state’s tax code that will help thousands of New Yorkers restricted by the new federal tax law in their ability to fully deduct their state and local tax payments.

While some takeaway is certain to focus on Cuomo’s bashing of Washington as more fodder for a possible 2020 White House run, Cuomo allies insist the tax issue, for one, is a hyper-provincial one.

“This is doing damage to New Yorkers and we have to deal with it. It’s very local and very personal for all elected officials in New York to undo the damage that was put on the shoulders of New Yorkers by this federal tax law,’’ said Sen. Jeff Klein, a Bronx Democrat and head of the Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:57 PM

When will US Jews confront sexual harassment and other abuses of power?

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

December 23, 2017

By Rafael Medoff

Sexual harassment, perpetual one-man control, sky’s-the-limit salaries – is there is a common denominator in all these abuses of power?

More than two months have passed since the exposure of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual abuse set off a wave of similar revelations about other public figures and inspired a serious reckoning in American society. Sadly, no such reckoning is yet underway in the American Jewish community.

In recent days, a few American Jewish institutions finally took some first, tentative steps toward addressing the issue. The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism terminated its relationship with a senior staff member after accounts surfaced of his sexual abuse of United Synagogue teens in the 1980s. The Jewish Museum of New York fired its director of public programs after several staff members reported he sexually harassed them. And the 92nd Street Y apparently has canceled a planned talk by Israeli author Ari Shavit, an admitted sexual harasser.

But much more needs to be done. For example, is it plausible that not a single United Synagogue administrator, summer camp counselor, or other staff member ever heard anything about the multiple sex abuse incidents? The USCJ should commission a thorough independent review to determine who knew what, and when – and why nobody intervened.

The 92nd Street Y episode likewise has so far provided more questions than answers. Which staff member came up with the idea of inviting Shavit, who just one year ago admitted to harassing multiple women? Which other staff members approved the invitation? What consequences will they face for their disgracefully poor judgment? Part of the problem the organized American Jewish community faces in addressing sexual harassment is the paucity of accountability mechanisms.

For example, an American politician who engages in sexual harassment sooner or later will have to face the voters. In Alabama, enough citizens were repulsed by the evidence against Senate candidate Roy Moore to defeat him at the polls. By contrast, democratic elections are almost unheard of among American Jewish or Zionist organizations.

The few token elections that are held often involve only one candidate, or are so heavily stacked in favor of the incumbent that the “voting” is a foregone conclusion.

Something is very wrong in the Jewish community when the head of an organization can orchestrate changes in the group’s bylaws to eliminate term limits and thereby entrench his power, or increase his own salary or other material benefits.

Anyone who has spent time among the leaders of US Jewish or Zionist organizations knows that more than a few of them harbor a deep-seated sense of entitlement. Some see themselves virtually as presidents- for-life, much in the spirit of Third World tinhorn dictators.

Many of them apparently also believe that they are entitled to wildly exorbitant salaries. According to The Forward’s recently-published annual list of Jewish leaders’ earnings, the top 30 are earning between $409,000 and $818,000 annually. The next 10 on the list are earning at least $308,000. And that doesn’t include the many extra perks.

Compare those figures to the salaries of, say, teachers in Jewish private schools. It says something about a community’s values and priorities if those who spend their time making bombastic speeches and issuing verbose press releases are being paid 10 times as much as those who teach our children. The average salary for all private school teachers in the United States is just $47,000; and many Jewish day school teachers make far less than that.

Sexual harassment, perpetual one-man control, sky’s-the-limit salaries – is there is a common denominator in all these abuses of power? If so, perhaps it is the sense of entitlement, and the lack of accountability, that is all too pervasive among some American Jewish and Zionist leaders. Entitled to keep their jobs as long as they want. Entitled to take whatever level of salary they choose, rubber-stamped by their handpicked board members. Entitled to treat their staff members however they fancy, confident that those who fear being fired will never expose them.

Obviously not every one of these characteristics applies to every leader of an American Jewish or Zionist organization. But enough of them apply for one to conclude that abuse of power in the organized American Jewish community is a problem that requires serious attention.

What can be done? Here are a few initial suggestions.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:48 PM

Judge orders continued mediation to resolve Minnesota bankruptcy case

ST. PAUL (MN)
Catholic News Service

January 2, 2018

By Maria Wiering

ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS) — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said a bankruptcy judge’s decision that the archdiocese should return to mediation with the other involved parties “bolsters our resolve to move forward in the bankruptcy process.”

“We look to engage with all participants in mediation as directed by the judge to bring a prompt and fair resolution,” Tom Abood, chairman of the archdiocese’s Reorganization Task Force, said in a statement.

Federal bankruptcy court Judge Robert Kressel Dec. 28 denied two competing plans that attempted to resolve the archdiocese’s bankruptcy. He stated that he expected all parties to return to mediation.

In a joint memorandum issued to the archdiocese and the Unsecured Creditors Committee, which includes clergy sexual abuse claimants, Kressel said he expected the parties “to mediate in good faith” to reach an agreement “providing appropriate and timely compensation to those who have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of those employed by or affiliated with the archdiocese.”

Abood said the archdiocese is “guided by (Kressel’s) words from earlier this year, that the longer this process continues, the less money will be available for those who have been harmed.”

He added, “We note and are gratified that Judge Kressel has once again directly dismissed the assertions by creditors’ counsel that the archdiocese has acted or is acting in bad faith regarding the reorganization.”

In his memorandum, Kressel expressed concern about the number of abuse claimants who have died since the archdiocese entered bankruptcy in January 2015, and that others may die as the reorganizations process “drags on.”

The judge said at least eight claimants have died, “essentially depriving them of meaningful compensation for the pain that they have endured.” He emphasized that the bankruptcy case affects actual people, especially those who suffered abuse and those who must pay for others’ actions.

“While the creditors committee seeks retribution for the wrongs suffered by victims, none of the people who committed the abuse in the first place or exacerbated it in the second place will suffer,” he wrote. “The financial cost of compensation falls not on any of these people, but a completely different group of people. It falls on current employees, including priests, teachers, coaches, and on retired school librarians and others who have worked for the archdiocese and the parishes and earned a modest retirement.

“The cost may fall on students at Catholic schools and their parents. It will fall on thousands of parishioners. And the cost will be borne by beneficiaries of the charity and other good works by the archdiocese and the parishes,” the memorandum continued.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:35 PM

Opinion: Media focus on Cardinal Law's death ignored his good works

LOWELL (MA)
The Lowell Sun

January 1, 2018

Cardinal Bernard Law died recently, and media outlets couldn't wait to highlight his involvement with the child sex-abuse scandal. Pulling scabs and uncovering old wounds is what keeps them relevant, right?

I was more recently gratified to read in The Sun that one victim of these undoubtedly horrific crimes hoped that Law was in purgatory and not in hell. For Catholics purgatory is a state where after dying one is "purged" of sin's effects in preparation for entry into heaven. In Tuesday's Sun I was similarly encouraged to read where a victim had forgiven Law and the clergy who actually abused him.

The judicial system has the specific role of bringing to justice and punishment people who have committed crimes. Religious entities, on the other hand, have a quite different mission; to lead people to repentance and redemption. Besides, who of us can know Cardinal Law's intention when he transferred priests from parish to parish at the same time when the abuses were actually occurring? These were not uncovered until years later.

So, I guess, to paraphrase what my sainted pastor, Rev. Father Lucien Loiselle at the former Saint Mary of the Assumption parish in Dracut, used to say at every Mass: "Pray for Cardinal Law and remember all the good that he did."

MICHAEL LANGLOIS

Dracut

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:32 PM

Bernard Law’s Funeral and An Honest Proposal

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

January 1, 2018

By Sally Vance-Trembath

Many found Bernard Law’s Roman funeral deeply upsetting. There have been various responses to that Catholic funeral protocol: condemnation, explanation, justification. I suspect that actual victims of molestation and rape are not satisfied by details that describe who gets what kind of funeral. I worked with “The Voice of the Faithful” early on so I know something of victims and their families. The last thing they need or want to hear about is Catholic protocol. In many ways, such protocols acted as accelerants for their destruction. It must be harrowing to see any display of honor given to the person who destroyed your life. Clerical collars and vestments that should mark sacramental authority instead provided camouflage. And the camouflage was brilliant. The trappings of office and authority as instruments for the disturbing larceny of this Catholic Crisis. That is what I saw as I listened to victims during those years. Their capacity for intimacy had been stolen. That is how I think about the predators. They were thieves. In treating their victims’ bodies as things, those villains robbed those young people of experiencing those same bodies as locations of tenderness and delight in physical love. So if we are going to talk about Catholic protocol, let’s talk. Let us honestly bring the best of our protocol, in this case, our liturgical system to this persistent sorrow. Signs and symbols were used to spread this contagion; it is long past time that we used our symbolic, ritual tradition to promote healing on a massive scale. The damage is widespread; the repair must be so.

As a theologian I must champion the deep truth that animated the funeral for Bernard Law: Catholic sacraments display an essential truth-claim that the Judeo-Christian tradition makes about reality: God’s presence saturates all of our experience. We mark that truth in many ways; for Catholics the Sacraments are among our richest expressions. We need Sacraments; we are constitutively communitarian creatures.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:30 PM

'I'm not going to cry': Leonie Sheedy reveals personal pain in fight for sexual abuse survivors

AUSTRLIA
The Guardian

January 2, 2018

By Melissa Davey

A vocal supporter of the royal commission into child sexual abuse, Sheedy implored survivors to tell their story and to keep fighting for justice

For the past five years Leonie Sheedy travelled around Australia urging survivors of childhood sexual abuse in orphanages and foster care to tell their stories to the child abuse royal commission. She was the vocal and visible presence outside the commission’s public hearings, confronting politicians and holding placards. She stood in the glaring sun and pouring rain protesting against the leaders and institutions who failed children, demanding stories of abuse be recognised.

But despite imploring survivors of abuse not to take their stories to their grave, it took the 63-year-old until the commission had almost finished its work in December to tell her own harrowing story of being abused while in care at the Sisters of Mercy St Catherine’s Children’s home in Geelong.

“I’d say I’ve supported over 100 people to tell their story, and the oldest person I supported at the commission was 93,” Sheedy told Guardian Australia, following the tabling of the royal commission’s final report in December. “What happened as a result is I recognised I needed to ask for my own private session with the royal commissioners to tell my story.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:27 PM

Derry archbishop pledges help for abuse sufferers

DERRY (IRELAND)
Derry Now

January 2, 2018

The Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, has pledged that the Catholic Church will play its part in raising awareness about domestic violence and abuse and in supporting anyone affected to access information confidentially.

In a special New Year homily to be delivered today to mark the World Day of Peace, Dr Martin, the former principal of St Columb's College, also re-iterated Pope Francis's call to show compassion to refugees.

Archbishop Martin said: "Organisations like Women’s Aid alert us to the fact that at least 14% of all crime reported to the police last year was related to domestic violence with one call every 18 minutes.

"The high levels of depression, addictions and anxiety in our country, and the frightening reality of domestic violence is not often spoken about openly, but it is an indication of the huge need that exists for inner peace and family reconciliation.

"Just before Christmas, the Catholic and Church of Ireland Cathedral parishes here in Armagh came together for training in the Safe Church Initiative.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:20 PM

«Così Don Gianni abusò di noi»

ITALY
GQ Italia

December 29, 2017

di Edoardo Montolli

[Google Translate: The trial of Don Gianni, born Giovanni Trotta, expelled since 2012, who never stopped raping children]

Il processo a Don Gianni, al secolo Giovanni Trotta, spretato dal 2012, che non smise mai di violentare bambini

Indossava il clergy e si faceva chiamare Don Gianni. Anche se la Chiesa lo aveva già ridotto allo stato laicale, vietandogli di avvicinare i bambini della parrocchia. Segno, che evidentemente, anche prima di accuse ufficiali e processi, la curia conosceva bene le tendenze di Giovanni Trotta, 57 anni. Un uomo che, stando al racconto delle sue presunte vittime in aula, aveva in sé un indissolubile senso dell’impunità. È l’ultimo caso tutto italiano di un cancro che attanaglia la Chiesa cattolica da sempre.

Nei giorni scorsi è morto a 86 anni Bernard Law, il cardinale di Boston, l’uomo che coprì per diciotto anni i preti seriali che abusarono di una quantità enorme di bambini e che lui, quando la situazione diventò ingestibile, si limitò a spostare di parrocchia in parrocchia. Come fece per padre John Geoghan, ritenuto responsabile di 130 violenze. Finché un giorno lo scandalo divampò – ci avrebbero fatto anche un film, Il caso Spotlight – e lui fu trasferito a Roma, con il prestigioso nuovo incarico di arciprete alla Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.

Le esequie si sono tenute alla Basilica di San Pietro, come per tutti i cardinali, alla presenza di Papa Francesco.

In quegli stessi giorni la commissione d’inchiesta del governo australiano ha stilato un rapporto sulla pedofilia nel Paese: il 60% dei casi trattati ha subito l’abuso in ambito religioso. Si parla di migliaia di bambini. Un altro cardinale, George Pell, arcivescovo emerito di Sidney, è ora accusato di aver coperto preti pedofili. Secondo il rapporto in alcune diocesi australiane il 15% dei sacerdoti è sospettato di pedofilia. E Pell stesso, cosa mai accaduta ad un cardinale, andrà a processo per un episodio di stupro.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:15 PM

Scandalo prete casertano, si vaglia anche la pista pedofilia

ITALY
New Notizie

December 31, 2017

[Google Translate: At the beginning of December, a scandal hit the church of the Transfiguration of Succivo , in the province of Caserta , when a parish priest, Don Crescenzo Abbate , denounced Mario Donadio and Yevheneik Borysyuk , respectively 22 and 24, after extortion , after they had threatened the parish priest to spread a hard video in which he appeared together with one of the two boys during an oral report.]

Ad inizio Dicembre uno scandalo ha colpito la chiesa della Trasfigurazione di Succivo, in provincia di Caserta, quando un parroco, don Crescenzo Abbate, ha denunciato per estorsione Mario Donadio e Yevheneik Borysyuk, rispettivamente di 22 e 24 anni, dopo che questi ultimi avevano minacciato il parroco di diffondere un video hard in cui compariva insieme a uno dei due ragazzi durante un rapporto orale.

La procura di Napoli Nord, diretta dal magistrato Giovanni Corona, ha disposto il sequestro del cellulare del prete contenente il messaggio intimidatorio per verificare se ci siano implicazioni da parte sua che costituiscono reato.

Al contempo anche i cellulari dei due ragazzi saranno al vaglio del magistrato, che avrà la possibilità di visionarli già entro il prossimo mese.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:11 PM

Sesso con ventenni e video hot, sequestrato smatphone del sacerdote

ITALY
Il Mattino

December 31, 2017

di Mena Grimaldi

[Google Translate: SUCCIVO - Investigation of the scandal that struck at the beginning of December on the Church of the Transfiguration of Succivo expands, leading to the home of Mario Donadio and Yevheneik Borysyuk, aged 22 and 24, on charges of attempting to extort money to the parish priest, Don Crescenzo Abbate, to avoid publishing a hard video. The carabinieri of Marcianise's company, directed by the captain Luca D'Alessandro, in fact, have also kidnapped the cell phone of the priest, meanwhile suspended from his duties by the bishop of Aversa, Monsignor Angelo Spinillo. ]

SUCCIVO - Si amplia l’indagine sullo scandalo che si è abbattuto a inizio dicembre sulla chiesa della Trasfigurazione di Succivo che ha portato ai domiciliari Mario Donadio e Yevheneik Borysyuk, di 22 e 24 anni, con l’accusa di aver tentato di estorcere del denaro al parroco, don Crescenzo Abbate, per evitare di pubblicare un video hard. I carabinieri della compagnia di Marcianise, diretti dal capitano Luca D’Alessandro, infatti, hanno sequestrato anche il cellulare del sacerdote, nel frattempo sospeso dalle sue funzioni dal vescovo di Aversa, Monsignor Angelo Spinillo.

Sequestro disposto dal magistrato della Procura di Napoli Nord, Giovanni Corona, che sta svolgendo un’indagine a 360 gradi. Vista la delicatezza del caso, gli inquirenti vogliono capire se vi siano state anche responsabilità che costituiscano reato da parte del prete. Responsabilità non solo legate all’episodio della denuncia per estorsione sporta dal sacerdote nei confronti dei due ragazzi, ma capire se vi siano stati in precedenza contatti anche con adolescenti di età inferiore ai 18 anni. Al momento sul tavolo non vi sarebbero elementi concreti che porterebbero in questa direzione, ma la scrupolosità della Procura e degli investigatori non sta lasciando nulla al caso.

Solo l’analisi tecnica dello smartphone del parroco - molto chiacchierato già prima che lo scandalo raggiungesse le cronache nazionali - metterà un punto fermo sulla questione. Così come saranno fondamentali, per quanto riguarda i fatti legati all’estorsione, i risultati che i consulenti stanno svolgendo sui cellulari dei due ragazzi, sequestrati subito dopo l’arresto, il 5 dicembre scorso, e che dovrebbero arrivare sul tavolo del magistrato il prossimo mese.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:07 PM

REPORT AFFIRMS DUTCH CHURCH HANDLING OF ABUSE CASES

The Netherlands
The Tablet

January 2, 2018

By Tom Heneghan

A special independent foundation overseeing the Dutch Church's response to past clerical sexual abuse has concluded that its programmes have provided victims with "recognition, satisfaction and help" including 28.6 million euros in compensation.

Presenting its final report, it said the programmes set up after a shocking 2011 inquiry into scandals from 1945 to the present had dealt with 3,712 reports of abuse. Of these, 2,062 led to formal complaints that a special panel examined.

In 941 cases, compensation - which was capped at 100,000 euros for the gravest abuse - was paid. Some reports led to offers of psychological treatment for victims, others were turned down as unfounded or inadmissible.

Receiving the report in mid-December, Cardinal Archbishop Willem Eijk of Utrecht said the Church, by establishing the lay-run foundation, "wanted to openly face up to a black page in its history".

The foundation, which handled complaints and compensation as well as dialogue with victims and officialdom, began work after a Church-appointed inquiry found that tens of thousands of children had been sexually abused in Catholic orphanages, boarding schools and seminaries since the Second World War.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:29 PM

Former Kirk moderator Dr Andrew McLellan hits out over "astonishing" delay in abuse response from Catholic Church

SCOTLAND
The Sunday Herald

January 2, 2018

By Stephen Naysmith

THE Catholic Church has been accused of failing to establish contact with victims of historic child abuse as it pledged to do in response to an independent review.

The Very Reverend Dr Andrew McLellan, a former Church of Scotland moderator who carried out an independent external review of child protection and safeguarding policies within the Catholic Church, said it was “astonishing” no contact had been made with victims’ groups.

When The McLellan Commission report was delivered in 2015, the Catholic Church pledged to implement all of its findings. These included a pledge that “justice must be done and justice must be seen to be done for those who have been abused and for those against whom allegations of abuse are made”.

However, a spokesperson for the Catholic Church insisted “interaction with survivors continues” and contact by its very nature was confidential. The spokesperson said: “The Church is now close to full implementation of the recommendations contained in the McLellan report.

“Safeguarding guidelines have been comprehensively revised and updated, while interaction with survivors continues.

“Crucially, no individual or organisation has a monopoly on survivor representation or interaction. Contact with survivors, by its nature confidential, is taking place across the Church. Many survivors do not identify with or join national groups and such groups should not presume to speak for them.” Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, as president of the Bishops’ Conference, apologised to anyone who had been harmed or who had suffered in any way as a result of actions by anyone within the Catholic Church.

He added: “We apologise to those who have found the Church’s response slow, unsympathetic or uncaring and reach out to them as we take up the recommendations of the McLellan commission.”

The Church says it has set up an independent review group headed by Baroness Helen Liddell to take forward the commission’s recommendations and claims it has been consulting with survivors.

But Dr McLellan said it was extraordinary that, more than two years after the publication of his report, groups representing victims of abuse are yet to meet with the review group, and claim they have had little meaningful contact from bishops and the Church.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:26 PM

London Catholic school abuse survivor speaks of 'constant violence'

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

January 1, 2018

By Harriet Sherwood

Man says ‘you couldn’t escape’ violence at St Benedict’s school where former headmaster has been jailed for sexually abusing boys

A man who was abused as a child at a Catholic school in London has spoken of a “culture of violence” at the institution, where a former headmaster was jailed just before Christmas for rape and other sexual offences.

“The threat and infliction of violence was constant. You couldn’t escape it – it was completely normalised,” said the survivor, who gave evidence in court against Andrew Soper, known as Father Laurence.

The former headmaster of St Benedict’s middle school, who later became abbot of Ealing Abbey in west London, is thought to be the most senior Catholic priest to be convicted of sex crimes in the UK. He is the fourth person to be convicted of sexual abuse committed at St Benedict’s.

“There wouldn’t be a day when there wasn’t a queue of boys outside [Soper’s] study to be caned,” said “Peter”, who asked not to be identified. During the two years Peter was a pupil at the school, Soper “molested me as often as possible”.

Peter thought no one would believe his word against that of a priest. The abuse “was accepted, it was the norm, it was routine. Everybody had been into Father Laurence’s study. I realised it had happened to lots of boys before me and would happen to lots of boys after me.”

Peter, whose family were staunch Catholics, won a place at the fee-paying St Benedict’s at the age of 11 in 1979. “It was a culture shock, coming from a normal, relaxed primary school.”

One of his earliest experiences was getting into trouble in class. The teacher, a lay member of staff, made the 11-year-old kneel in front of the class and conducted the rest of the lesson standing on Peter’s hands.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:23 PM

Support line for North Yorkshire school abuse victims

YORK (ENGLAND)
The York Press

January 2, 2018

By Dan Bean

A YORK charity has launched a special helpline to support victims of child abuse at schools under investigation in North Yorkshire.

Survive, which was started in the city in 1990 to help men and women who were abused as children, is running the helpline during the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse at Ampleforth and Ealing Abbey and College, run by the Roman Catholic Benedictine Congregation.

So far, more than 4,000 documents are on record in the review, with material from police forces, The Independent Schools Inspectorate and the Charity Commission, and Dani Wardman from the charity said she expected calls to the organisation to increase as the inquiry continues.

The support line went live at the end of November, run by trained Survive staff, available from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, and is set to be in place until the end of March next year.

Dani said: “When abuse stories dominate the headlines we often forget the impact this has on the victims. It is a significant step that Ampleforth and now Ealing have recognised the importance of providing support to those who have suffered sexual abuse under their care.

“It is impossible to predict numbers of calls but the first step is getting the phone number into the public domain. Survive are here to support Survivors of sexual violence and we really hope those who have experienced this at Ampleforth or Ealing know they can give us a call.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:22 PM

After the royal commission, a new generation of Catholic priests looks to the future

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcast Corporation

January 1, 2018

By Isabella Higgins

A new generation of Catholic priests is promising to make the church more open, engaging and modern.

Last month the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered damning findings about the Catholic Church.

The commission's final report recommended the Church break with centuries of tradition, tossing out the sanctity of the confessional and making celibacy for priests voluntary.

There has been reluctance from senior leadership, but a new wave of priests-in-training believe the priesthood must evolve.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:20 PM

NY Legislature convenes: Top issues for 2018 session

ALBANY (NY)
The Associated Press

January 1, 2018

New York lawmakers will gavel in the 2018 legislative session Wednesday. Here's a look at some of the top issues expected this year:

NEW YORK CITY SUBWAYS: The aging system has been beset by chronic breakdowns and delays. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers have pointed fingers at each other and floated different ideas for how to raise money for needed upgrades. Those ideas have included congestion pricing, which would impose added fees on motorists entering busy parts of the city, as well as a long-shot proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy.

CHILD SEX ABUSE: A proposal to loosen the statute of limitations for child molestation has failed repeatedly in Albany but supporters are hoping national attention on sexual misconduct gives their cause fresh momentum. The bill would give victims more time to file civil lawsuits or seek criminal charges against abusers and create a one-year window for past victims to file civil suits. Victims now have until they turn 23 to sue.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT: Cuomo says he will propose a comprehensive state policy for combating sexual harassment. Several lawmakers have already advanced their own ideas.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:18 PM

New York Legislature returns, faces tough choices on budget

ALBANY (NY)
The Associated Press

January 2, 2018

By David Klepper

STATE: The work gets underway Wednesday.

ALBANY — The new year dawns with political storm clouds bearing down on New York lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The New York City subway system, beset by breakdowns and delays, needs a massive investment. The upcoming corruption trial of a former top Cuomo adviser threatens to dim the Democrat's presidential chances. The state faces a $4 billion deficit, while ongoing conflicts with Republicans in Washington mean the state could lose even more health care funding. Then this fall, Cuomo and the entire Legislature face re-election.

It all adds up to a year of political maneuvering, tough choices and no easy answers.

"Extremely difficult," is the prediction from Sen. David Carlucci, a Rockland County Democrat. "The most important thing we can do is try to put the politics aside, at least for six months."

The work gets underway Wednesday when the Legislature reconvenes and Cuomo delivers his state of the state address.

Big issues for the year include a contentious bill that would extend the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases to allow victims to sue for decades-old abuse, a proposal long opposed by the Catholic Church and other institutions.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:16 PM

How do churches address sexual misconduct by clergy members?

UNITED STATES
Lancaster Online

January 1, 2018

By Elizabeth Eisenstadt-Evans

Recently a group of 140 evangelical women representing diverse theological and social perspectives released a statement asking churches to break their silence on violence against women.

Yet when it comes to addressing sexual assault, it’s not only conservative Christian denominations that are in denial, say experts.

Many denominations have policies and statements that address sexual harassment and assault, some for decades. In many cases, boundaries training is mandatory for clergy, lay staff and volunteers. The United Methodist Church has a whole website focused on sexual ethics. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recommends that each congregation have its own policy for preventing sexual misconduct.

But policies and statements aren’t nearly enough, say victim advocates and those who train future clergy.

Despite those institutional guardrails, they argue, many churches remain unsafe territory for victims, spaces in which there is often a lack of accountability and an unwillingness to address sexual harassment and assault in ways that give victims a voice.

Writing for Ministry Matters (an online resource for church leaders) in October, Episcopal priest Kira Schlesinger argued that many churches still protect harassers, even when their behavior is an “open secret.”

“As a young clergywoman, I am cautious of those colleagues with whom I am not close who greet me with a hug that lingers a bit too long or a kiss on the cheek that lands too close to my mouth. There are the comments about what kind of body my vestments might be covering up.”

In an article posted on the United Methodist Church website titled “Sexual misconduct at church: What every member should know,” denominational staff member Joe Iovino wrote: “United Methodists have committed acts of sexual misconduct. Adults have been sexually harassed by their pastor. Children in our care have been abused. Staff members have viewed pornographic material on their church computers.”

When that takes place, it divides congregations, devastates families and derails careers.

“Sexual harassment and abuse is not limited to a church or a denomination,” says Julie Owens, a domestic violence survivor who now travels the country consulting with and training professionals in the public and private sectors.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:14 PM

GOP Senate should cease blocking authorized recourse for New Yorkers abused as children

NEW YORK (NY)
Kaplan Herald

January 2, 2018

The movement has awakened many to the wide range of sexual misconduct. We‘ve heard of powerful men repeatedly, with apparent impunity, accosting and assaulting women. The contentious Alabama Senate election shone a spotlight on accusations that GOP candidate Roy Moore had targeted young adolescent girls.

With so much news about and, finally, serious consequences for sexual harassment, assault and abuse, many New Yorkers might assume that those who were victims of abuse as children are given fair and ample opportunity to seek some measure of justice. But they would be wrong. Under state law, criminal charges against an accused molester, for most forms of abuse short of rape, must be filed before a victim is 23. Victims who want to seek redress in civil court can only sue a church, school or other institution before they are 21, and can only sue their abuser until they are 23.

Such limits on seeking justice are more than unfair. New York legislators have had in front of them for years to realign the statute of limitations to something that is fair and fits the timeline of trauma that victims of child sexual abuse can face. Yet the Republican-controlled Senate has failed to allow this bill to come to a vote.

“People can‘t really deal with this issue until they reach adulthood,” said Bob Hoatson, a victim of childhood abuse and longtime advocate for victims, told The Journal News/lohud Editorial Board. He joined three other victims and Marci Hamilton, a national expert on the abuse of minors, who talked about the need for New York to expand the statue of limitations for abuse victims seeking legal recourse.

Calling themselves , advocates are trying to turn up pressure on Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, who has refused to allow legislation to come to the floor, and Senate Republicans who have supported him, including Sen. Terrence Murphy, R-Yorktown.

The Senate bill () would allow victims of childhood abuse to file civil actions until they are 50 and would allow the filing of criminal charges until a victim is 28. There would also be a one-year window when cases from any point in time could proceed.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:11 PM

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Brown no good friend to sex-abuse victims

Peoria (AZ)
Kaplan Herald

January 2, 2018
Letter: December 11, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As a survivor of countless clergy sex-abuse crimes and cover-ups in the state of California, I recognize the religious threat and intimidation tactic that is using (“Trump doesn’t ‘fear the wrath of God,’ complains ,” Web, Dec. 9).

is touting his religious affiliation with Catholic Church officials and he used verbiage right out of the playbooks of complicit religious leaders such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and the California Conference of Catholic Bishops when he said recently, “I don’t think President Trump has a fear of the Lord, the fear of the wrath of God, which leads one to more humility and this is such a reckless disregard for the truth and for the existential consequences that can be unleashed.”

That’s just one of the many twisted threats used by on behalf of sexual predators and those who cover up those crimes. Just look at his actions as he shut the doors of justice to sex-crime survivors in his own state. Basically, he is saying, in my opinion, if any more victims come forward he will burn them all. There won’t be an invisible being that he calls “God” to do that for him.

Perhaps might want to read about himself in the Bible that he loves and believes in so much, specifically the part that talks about how Judas betrayed Jesus for a few pieces of silver. That is what has done to his state.

Yet continues to want to deny that truth and protect his religious “boys club” by hiding behind “climate change.” Why?

MARY GRANT

Peoria, Ariz.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:10 PM

OPINION: When Moses had a #MeToo moment

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

January 2, 2018

By Jeffrey Salkin

You don’t see every revolution coming.

A year ago, no one would have predicted the fall of Harvey Weinstein, and other powerful men who have been accused (and in many cases, have confessed to) sexual harassment.

Let’s just call it the Tiananmen Square of Testosterone – the moment when women, all over the world, stood up in front of the tanks of malignant masculinity, and screamed: Enough.

#MeToo.

That revolution has already changed the world, and it is just getting started.

What’s next?

#MeToo is coming to the Jewish world.

Let’s call it “MeTooJew.”

I predict that it will come in the form of accusations of sexual harassment against high-level Jewish communal executives. The targets of those accusations will include major donors, using coercive sexual power against female staff members.

It is already starting to happen.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:02 PM

Manhattan DA Cy Vance joining fight to enact law allowing child sex abuse victims to seek justice

ALBANY (NY)
New York Daily News

January 2, 2018

By Kenneth Lovett

ALBANY — Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is joining the fight to enact a long-sought after bill to make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice.

Vance will join a group of survivors and other advocates in front of the Fearless Girl statue in Manhattan on Tuesday to call on Gov. Cuomo to include the bill to extend the timeframe that a victim has to bring a civil or criminal case in his proposed state budget. It’s due to be unveiled later in the month.

“This bill reflects what we know about child sexual assault today: it can take a long time for someone to be ready to report it to law enforcement, and this delay is common, it is understandable, and it should not bar a survivor from seeking justice,” Vance said.

The DA, who credited Cuomo for supporting the Child Victims Act in previous years, said the bill would “enable our prosecutors to hold more abusers accountable, and get justice for more survivors.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:53 AM

EDITORIAL: Strengthen Family Values To Stop Violence And Abuse At Home, In Society

LAUTOKA (FIJI)
Fiji Sun Online

January 2, 2018

By Charles Chambers

Family values should become the main focus of everyone in Fiji in for 2018.

These values have become so eroded that it could be blamed for the breakdown of respect within families, the abuses, both physical and sexual, the increased number of youths into drugs and the discarding of the elderly to care homes.

In this modern day and age, one must explore what are some of the main reasons for the breakdown in family life.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, in one of his documents pointed a finger at social media and the internet which he said contributed greatly to this.

The 79-year-old pontiff explored the way technology affected relationships, such as when people stay on their mobile phones during meal times.

He said the fast pace of the online world was affecting people’s approach to relationships.

“They believe, along the lines of social networks, that love can be connected or disconnected at the whim of the consumer, and the relationship quickly ‘blocked’.”

Pope Francis offered support for women, condemning the “verbal, physical and sexual violence” that many endure in marriages and rejecting “sexual submission” to men.

He said the belief that feminism was to blame for the crisis in families today was completely invalid.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:51 AM

Chief Justice Roberts announces sexual harassment moves, touts disaster response in year-end report

UNITED STATES
CNN

December 31, 2017

By Ariane de Vogue, Supreme Court Reporter

(CNN) Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts announced in an annual report on Sunday that he has called for an evaluation of how the judicial branch handles allegations of sexual harassment.

In his year-end report on the state of the judiciary, Roberts said recent events "have illuminated the depth of the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace" and made clear that the "judicial branch is not immune."

"The judiciary will begin 2018 by undertaking a careful evaluation of whether its standards of conduct and its procedures for investigating and correcting inappropriate behavior are adequate to ensure an exemplary workplace for every judge and every court employee," Roberts wrote.

The announcement comes after Judge Alex Kozinski of the San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals announced his retirement earlier this month after a Washington Post story detailed accusations of sexual misconduct from several former clerks and junior staffers. The article included the account of a former clerk who said Kozinski made her look at pornographic images and asked whether they sexually aroused her.

Without getting into specifics, Kozinski apologized for his actions in a statement released by his lawyer, but also defended what he called his "broad sense of humor."

"I've always had a broad sense of humor and a candid way of speaking to both male and female law clerks alike," Kozinski wrote. "In doing so, I may not have been mindful enough of the special challenges and pressures that women face in the workplace. It grieves me to learn that I caused any of my clerks to feel uncomfortable; this was never my intent."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:44 AM

January 1, 2018

La resistencia que encontrará el Papa en Chile

CHILE
La Tercera

December 30, 2017

By Ignacio Bazán

[Google Translate: The Pope's visit to Chile in January is not welcome by all. In the organizations related to the denunciation of abuses within the Church, a seminar is brewing that brings international activists related to the issue right the day that Francisco steps on Chilean soil. And that's not all. They also evaluate coordinating a series of protest acts during the papal visit.]

La visita del Papa a Chile en enero no es bienvenida por todos. En las organizaciones relacionadas con la denuncia de abusos dentro de la Iglesia se está gestando un seminario que trae a activistas internacionales relacionados con el tema justo el día en que Francisco pise suelo chileno. Y eso no es todo. También evalúan coordinar una serie de actos de protesta durante la visita papal.

La reacción vino después del funeral del ex arzobispo de Boston Bernard Law en la Basílica San Pedro, en el Vaticano. Ahí estaba el Papa Francisco ofreciendo una corta bendición a quien fuese inculpado de ocultar y proteger una serie de abusos sexuales a niños ocurridos en su arquidiócesis entre 1984 y 2002 y que terminó dando origen a la película ganadora del Oscar, Spotlight.

Law, quien murió el pasado 20 de diciembre, a los 86 años, tras una corta estadía en un hospital del Vaticano, protegió a una docena de religiosos acusados de abusos sexuales a niños y tuvo que renunciar a su cargo después de que el Boston Globe destapara su red de protección a sacerdotes pedófilos. Uno de ellos fue acusado de haber violado o acosado a 130 niños, pero en lugar de sacarlo de su cargo, Law lo iba moviendo de parroquia en parroquia.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:07 PM

Opinion: Wait Until Sexual Accusations Hit The Churches!

UNITED STATES
The Daily Caller

January 1, 2018

By Don Boys

Americans have seen a sea change recently with sexually abused women coming out of their closets and identifying unscrupulous men in entertainment, journalism, sports, and a small stirring among academia. Watch for much more in that area. What will really shock people is when it reaches the Protestant and Baptist churches.

Roman Catholics experienced a major scandal in recent years that is still reverberating even behind the Vatican walls. It is commendable that the media have been willing to deal thoroughly with that issue after years of delay. It is not honest or honorable if Protestant pastors come to the defense of an erring pastor while being critical of the massive Roman Catholic sex scandal. That is pure hypocrisy, but then hypocrites are found in all races, regions, ranks, and religions.

However, the giant elephant in the room is the non-Catholic churches that range from Adventists to Zion Christians, especially the very visible megachurches. It is my opinion that there are thousands of pastors who take advantage of church members and staff. Alas, many of the victims are young girls — and boys! No doubt, the problem extends to the evangelical seminaries and universities.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:48 PM

Some tough choices faced by NYS lawmakers as they start a new session

ALBANY (NY)
Associated Press, appearing on wxxinews.org

January 1, 2018

The new year dawns with political storm clouds bearing down on New York lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The New York City subway system, beset by breakdowns and delays, needs a massive investment. The upcoming corruption trial of a former top Cuomo adviser threatens to dim the Democrat's presidential chances. The state faces a $4 billion deficit, while ongoing conflicts with Republicans in Washington mean the state could lose even more health care funding. Then this fall, Cuomo and the entire Legislature face re-election.

It all adds up to a year of political maneuvering, tough choices and no easy answers.

"Extremely difficult,'' is the prediction from Sen. David Carlucci, a Rockland County Democrat. "The most important thing we can do is try to put the politics aside, at least for six months.''

The work gets underway Wednesday when the Legislature reconvenes and Cuomo delivers his state of the state address.

Big issues for the year include a contentious bill that would extend the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases to allow victims to sue for decades-old abuse, a proposal long opposed by the Catholic Church and other institutions.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:44 PM

London Catholic school abuse survivor speaks of 'constant violence'

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

January 1, 2018

By Harriet Sherwood

Man says ‘you couldn’t escape’ violence at St Benedict’s school where former headmaster has been jailed for sexually abusing boys

A man who was abused as a child at a Catholic school in London has spoken of a “culture of violence” at the institution, where a former headmaster was jailed just before Christmas for rape and other sexual offences.

“The threat and infliction of violence was constant. You couldn’t escape it – it was completely normalised,” said the survivor, who gave evidence in court against Andrew Soper, known as Father Laurence.

The former headmaster of St Benedict’s middle school, who later became abbot of Ealing Abbey in west London, is thought to be the most senior Catholic priest to be convicted of sex crimes in the UK. He is the fourth person to be convicted of sexual abuse committed at St Benedict’s.

“There wouldn’t be a day when there wasn’t a queue of boys outside [Soper’s] study to be caned,” said “Peter”, who asked not to be identified. During the two years Peter was a pupil at the school, Soper “molested me as often as possible”.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:51 AM

Liberal activist Bill Samuels backing Child Victims Act

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

January 1, 2018

By Kenneth Lovett

The following is an expanded version of the third item from my "Albany Insider" column from Monday's print editions:

Businessman and liberal activist Bill Samuels, who helped finance the unsuccessful effort in November to create a constitutional convention, is now backing a bill to make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice as adults.

Samuels will take part in a press conference by advocates Tuesday calling on Gov. Cuomo to include the Child Victims Act in his State of the State address Wednesday and his upcoming state budget proposal.

"This is a no brainer," Samuels said. "Why Cuomo doesn’t put this in his budget, why the (Senate) Republicans don’t go along with it, I don’t get it."

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:48 AM

After the royal commission, a new generation of Catholic priests looks to the future

AUSTRALIA
ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

January 1, 2018

By Isabella Higgins

A new generation of Catholic priests is promising to make the church more open, engaging and modern.

Last month the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered damning findings about the Catholic Church.

The commission's final report recommended the Church break with centuries of tradition, tossing out the sanctity of the confessional and making celibacy for priests voluntary.

There has been reluctance from senior leadership, but a new wave of priests-in-training believe the priesthood must evolve.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:36 AM